- August 29, 2016
This issue paper discusses how Colorado has created loopholes, such as fees and enterprises, to bypass the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR).READ MORE
Colorado’s Public Employee Retirement Association, PERA, is the public pension plan for Colorado’s state workers and public school teachers, as well as some local government employees. PERA has five major divisions, State Division, School Division, Denver Public Schools Division, Local Government Division, and Judicial Division. Far and away, the two largest divisions are the State and School Division.
PERA’s largest offering is its Defined Benefit plan, which promises lifetime benefits for retirees, based on age at retirement and years worked. It functions in lieu of Social Security for its active members. The plan is funded by a combination of government contributions and member contributions, which vary from division to division. PERA also offers a smaller Defined Contribution plan.READ MORE
Nearly all American constitutions, federal and state, contain financial restrictions. Some of the state restrictions are very comprehensive. So Colorado’s “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” (TABOR) is not as “unique” as both its friends and its enemies claim. But TABOR is probably the most famous provision of its kind.READ MORE
This paper examines the empty promises and untold costs of Urban Renewal Areas (URAs) and the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in URAs in Colorado.READ MORE
Over two decades have passed since Colorado voters adopted The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in 1992. TABOR allows government spending to grow each year at the rate of inflation-plus-population. Government can increase faster whenever voters consent. Likewise, tax rates can be increased whenever voters consent. This Issue Paper analyzes TABOR’s effect on state government spending and taxes by examining three decades: The 1983-92 pre-TABOR decade; the first decade of TABOR, 1993-2002; and the second decade, 2003-12. The final decade included the largest tax increase in Colorado history, enacted as Referendum C in 2005. Decade-2 was also marked by increasing efforts to evade TABOR by defining nearly 60% of the state budget as “exempt” from TABOR.READ MORE
By calling the provider charge a fee rather than a tax, the legislature was able to collect and use the revenue from the provider charge without asking permission from the voters.READ MORE