IP-3-2016 (September 2016)
Author: Robert G. Natelson
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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.
As part of a state constitution, TABOR is a legal text. In other words, it is a law. Many people find law hard to understand. TABOR can be particularly difficult. In fact, it is more difficult today than when it was adopted. This is because it has been complicated by amendments, legislation, and court decisions.
To better understand TABOR, I looked for legal writings explaining it. Perhaps surprisingly, I found relatively few with much value. So I undertook to write an Independence Institute Issue Paper explaining the legal status of TABOR. As I proceeded, the paper grew. The result was not only a discussion of TABOR’s legal status, but other information as well.
This paper includes text, footnotes, and endnotes. The footnotes feature both sources and, for those interested, additional material meant to be read in conjunction with the text. The endnotes contain mostly sources. The most commonly-cited sources are cited in abbreviated form, with the full title reproduced in the Bibliography at the end of the paper.