State Budgets

Protecting Colorado Taxpayers and Preserving TABOR: Jonathan Williams on American Radio Journal

ALEC Executive Vice President of Policy and Chief Economist Jonathan Williams discusses an upcoming Colorado ballot measure that would expand government spending and weaken Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), the nation’s strongest taxpayer protection.

The progressive push to undermine common sense checks on government spending is never-ending. It’s evidenced recently by the debate over the federal debt limit in Washington DC. The latest push is happening in Colorado as progressives are once again attempting to undermine the taxpayers’ Bill of Rights or TABOR, which is the gold standard of a state constitutional limit on overspending and overtaxing. It was adopted by voters as a state constitutional amendment back in 1992. It has helped restrain the growth of government and return billions of dollars to Colorado taxpayers.

However, the upcoming ballot measure in Colorado if approved, would gut TABOR in exchange for small, short-term cuts to property tax. Known as Proposition HH, this proposal tempts voters with the allure of a property tax cut with its real purpose is to clearly to water down TABOR’s tax and spending limits. My friend Ben Murray, Director of fiscal policy at the Independence Institute, described the package as a boondoggle of a property tax plan. The attacks on TABOR aren’t new. The property tax cut quote unquote, is the only latest gimmick to attempt to unleash the leviathan of big government on hardworking Coloradoans.

As the ALEC team explained in the National Review on the recent 30th anniversary of TABOR, TABOR has seen no shortage of progressive attacks which serves as an acknowledgement of the danger it presents to those that would like no constraints on the government’s ability to grow. Though all states except Bernie Sanders of Vermont have some sort of a balanced budget requirements in state law or their constitution, most don’t have robust protections such as that what TABOR offers.


In Depth: State Budgets

Smart budgeting is vital to a state’s financial health. The ALEC State Budget Reform Toolkit offers more than 20 policy ideas for addressing today’s shortfalls in a forthright manner, without resorting to budget gimmicks or damaging tax increases. One way to stabilize budgets over time is to embrace…

+ State Budgets In Depth