TABOR saves taxpayers | SummitDaily.com
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TABOR saves taxpayers

“Its preferred interpretation shall reasonably restrain most the growth of government.” – Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, TABOR Amendment: Colorado Constitution,

Article -Revenue, Section 20

TABOR – the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights – is a tax-and-spending limitation, constitutional amendment.



Voters passed TABOR in 1992 and it is contained in Article , Section 20, of the Colorado Constitution.

TABOR’s stated mission is to “reasonably restrain most the growth of government.”



It allows only those tax rate increases approved by voters; while fees are not directly restricted, state government spending is limited to growth of Colorado’s population-plus-inflation in the prior year.

Colorado has in TABOR the strictest tax-and-spending limitation of the 50 states.

In the decade before TABOR, Colorado state revenues and outlays (spending) grew well over twice the population-plus-inflation growth.

With TABOR, all three were very close, indicating TABOR had significantly restrained and controlled Colorado government growth.

Though TABOR was part of the go-go 1990s, its measured effects on government and non-government employment and distribution were quite impressive.

Pre-TABOR, government jobs grew slightly more than business or total employment. After TABOR, business job growth nearly doubled government job growth.

The TABOR surplus rebate mechanism returned to taxpayers some $3.25 billion over five years, fiscal 1997 to 2001, amounting to about $800 per capita – $3,200 for an average family of four.

TABOR is a success. It passed its own test to reasonably contain growth of Colorado government, taxing and spending.

Author Fred Holden writes for the Independence Institute, the conservative think tank based in Golden.


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