Yet another plan surfaces to fix Colorado’s fiscal crisis |

Yet another plan surfaces to fix Colorado’s fiscal crisis

DENVER – Yet another plan is in the works to fix Colorado’s fiscal crisis.Rep. Dale Hall, R-Greeley and a member of the Joint Budget Committee, said he is worried about plans offered by House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, and Rep. Keith King, R-Colorado Springs. GOP Gov. Bill Owens also has plans of his own.Lawmakers say they are caught between the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, which limits what state government can spend and requires voter approval of tax increases, and Amendment 23, which requires annual increases in public school spending.The problem will force lawmakers to cut $234 million from the budget next year alone even as they mail refund checks to taxpayers.Owens and House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, have both proposed cutting the state income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 4.5 percent. They differ on what to do about spending and taxpayer refunds.King’s plan would reduce the income tax rate to 4.45 percent and increase the allowable spending limit under TABOR to provide $1.8 billion over five years.Lawmakers will begin debate on a plan to put on the November ballot on Wednesday.Hall said he will introduce his bill if Romanoff grants late-bill status, as expected. Under his plan, the income tax would be cut to 4.5 percent and taxpayers would give up a portion of their refund checks for five years. It would also set aside $1.7 billion for transportation projects.Hall called his plan “a compromise referendum” that takes components from the Democrats’ plan and the governor’s plan.

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