These are Members only Resources. We hope you find them useful!
Colorado Senior Lobby’s August 12th event: “Death and Taxes – Understanding at Least One of Them,” was a great success (judging by the nearly 100 people in attendance and their many positive comments after the event).
Three constitutional amendments (each requiring a vote of the people) were the primary topics of discussion: the Gallagher Amendment (adopted in 1982 and which directly impacts property taxes), the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) amendment (adopted in 1992 and which relates to restrictions on state taxing, spending, and budgeting), and the Senior Property Tax Exemption (adopted in 2000).
Additionally, there was information provided on two other constitutional amendments purely related to TABOR: Amendment 23 and Referendum CC. Attendees learned how each of these voter-approved amendments, together, create a unique and complicated revenue and spending system by interacting with one another and how they continue to impact state fiscal policies and the state budget.
Colorado is the only state in the country to have adopted the so-called Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, or TABOR. This was placed into the state constitution after a vote of the people in 1992. (1.5 million total votes were cast in that election and one million did not even vote – interestingly, there are now over 2.0 million new (since 1992) voters: more than all the votes cast in 1992).
The key provision of TABOR is that there can be no tax increases without a vote of the people. Since 1992, there have been three tax and TABOR-related constitutional amendments voted in by the people of Colorado: in 2000 with the Senior Property Tax Exemption, Initiative 23, also in the year 2000, and Referendum C in 2005. Several other TABOR related tax measures have failed on the ballot.
Another key provision of TABOR is the formula (algorithm) that calculates and limits the amount of tax money (revenue) that the state is allowed to spend.
There will be another TABOR related amendment on the ballot this November – PROPOSITION CC. It this amendment passes, then the formula that limits the amount of revenue that the General Assembly – (those legislators you vote into office to represent you every two years) – will be allowed to spend any TABOR excess funds on education and transportation.
Why is this vote so important?
As Colorado’s population has grown significantly since 1992, there are now well over two million new voters who were not voters in 1992 and who know and understand very little about our state government’s very unique tax and spending system. This makes it vitally important that all of the over four million eligible 2019 voters have an understanding of the TABOR system of constitutional amendments and their impact on the state budget. This system affects everything our state government spends money on: health care, senior-related issues, roads, education, veterans, human services, and a host of other things.
If you missed our August 12th event, or were there and just want to review something, we have made the presentations available on our website.
- View Videos from the Event on our YouTube Channel – CLICK HERE
- Visit the Death and taxes Resource Page – CLICK HERE
Please jump in – the water is not too deep, and it is critically important right now to understand what is being asked of every voter – not just those 800,000 who voted FOR TABOR and the 700,000 who voted against it and the nearly 1.0 million eligible voters who did not vote at all – 27 years ago. Our state is a different place than it was then.
President – Colorado Senior Lobby