By The LIBRE Initiative – Colorado
For nearly three decades, Colorado has been able to keep government spending at bay thanks to the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), a state constitutional amendment requiring that taxpayers first have a say before elected officials are able to raise taxes.
In addition to keeping government spending under control, TABOR also helps create an environment to encourage job creation and economic opportunity which is critical for all Coloradoans – including the many Latinos who call this state home.
To help us better understand TABOR, here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Is it true that TABOR prevents us from spending more of our tax dollars on schools, parks and road services?
A. No, there is nothing stipulated in TABOR that prevents Colorado lawmakers from appropriating tax dollars to fund schools, parks, road services and other government services. What TABOR does say is that a majority of the people have to agree to raise taxes before the government is able to spend taxpayer dollars.
Q. I have heard that we receive refunds from TABOR. Is that true? And how does this work?
A. Yes, TABOR says that any revenue the government collects above the cap using a formula that adjusts each year based on population and inflation is returned to the taxpayer in the form of a TABOR tax refund. Since its enactment in 1992, more than $3 billion has been returned to taxpayers under TABOR.
Q. If TABOR is so popular, why do some people in the state want to do away with this provision?
A. Actually, the people of Colorado have consistently voted to keep TABOR in place despite repeated attempts to repeal the constitutional amendment that has consistently helped keep government spending in check while encouraging economic productivity. In fact, the people of Colorado voted to stop an attempt to weaken TABOR by an impressive margin of 56% in favor, and 44% opposed just last fall.
Latinos living in Colorado want to work, contribute positively in our local communities and provide for our families. One of the best ways we can do this is by being able to work and earn a living.
Thanks to pro-growth economic policies like TABOR, many Colorado Hispanics have been able to do just that.
Unfortunately, the effects of COVID-19 are being felt – particularly in the Latino community.
But instead of doing away with the policies that have served our state well to create jobs and prosperity, we need to safeguard policies like TABOR to ensure that we can come out of this global pandemic and economic crisis stronger than ever and better positioned to handle the next crisis.
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