Dispelling the Myths: The Truth about TABOR and Referendum C

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During the late 1990s, Colorado’s Taxpayer’sBill of Rights was praised widely for its effectivenessin restraining the growth of government andproviding tax relief for the residents of the state.TABOR capped government revenue growth atpopulation plus inflation and mandated immediaterebates of surplus revenues.

Now TABOR is under attack by interest groupsthat want to increase government taxation fasterthan the cap will allow. They blame TABOR for thepressure the state budget has faced over the last fouryears. Yet that pressure is a direct result not ofTABOR but of a recession, a drought, and a misguidededucational-spending mandate that forcedgovernment to spend more money than it collected.

Opponents of TABOR have endorsed ReferendumC as a much-needed fix to TABOR.However, far from simply tinkering with TABOR,Referendum C puts government growth in overdrive.The referendum would in effect giveColorado state government a blank check for thenext five years. It would also permanently changethe way the TABOR cap is calculated and lock infor perpetuity more government spending.

This paper sets the record straight on whatreally caused the budget problems in Coloradoand what passage of Referendum C would meanto fiscal control in that state.