Colorado voters may be asked to forgo their future TABOR refunds so the state can boost school funding |

Colorado voters may be asked to forgo their future TABOR refunds so the state can boost school funding

Two Democrats in the legislature are planning as soon as this week to introduce a bill eliminating future Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Refunds. Republicans and conservative groups are already opposed.

Jesse Paul
The Colorado Sun
Summit Middle School is pictured on the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 13.
Tripp Fay/For Summit Daily News

The Colorado legislature will debate a bill this year that would ask voters in November to waive their future Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights refunds and earmark the money, potentially billions of dollars each year, to public education.

The forthcoming measure, sponsored by state Rep. Cathy Kipp, a Fort Collins Democrat and former Poudre School District board member, and state Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, an Arvada Democrat who has worked as a teacher, is sure to face pushback from Republicans, who are fierce defenders of TABOR refunds. There could also possibly be opposition from some fellow Democrats, including Gov. Jared Polis, who would like to see the money spent elsewhere.

“We need to pay our teachers,” Kipp said. “We need to fund our schools. We do not fund our public schools adequately. TABOR is a part of that.”

TABOR requires voter approval for all tax increases in Colorado and it also caps government growth and spending, mandating that tax revenue collected in excess of the cap be refunded to taxpayers. In the case of state government, the legislature decides how the refunds are distributed. Last year, Coloradans were mailed checks of $750 or $1,500 after the state collected more than $3 billion over what the cap allowed.

(The TABOR cap is forecast to be exceeded in the current fiscal year, which began July 1, by more than $2 billion. That money also would have to be refunded to taxpayers.)


Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.