Wednesday, November 02, 2005

An "evil" day in Colorado

Colorado has the most powerful TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) in the nation. Currently the state of Colorado can only increase annual government spending by the combination of annual inflation and the annual growth in population. For example, if inflation was 2% last year, and the population of Colorado grew by 2% last year, this would mean that the annual budget can only increase by 4%. Furthermore all unspent tax revenue MUST be returned to the taxpayers.

The only way this can be over-ridden is by a statewide ballot initiaitve. In other words it can only be overturned by the people of the state.

What a great and novel idea!

Unforunately, it looks like the voters of Colorado have given in to the forces of larger government and agreed to let the State spend 3.7 extra billion dollars in the next five year rather then return it to the taxpayers. With 73% of the vote in those in favor of spending the extra money have 53% of the vote and those against only 47%.

It is a sad day in Colorado.

The forces of larger government have won... It looks like they are going to be allowed to spend (I mean waste) more tax money.

At least they had to let the taxpayers in Colorado make this decision.

It is truly a sad day in Colorado...


Publius said...

I agree. I'm very suprised that the voters would allow the state govt. to keep all that money. I don't think it would have passed in Indiana.

I wonder if there was a huge PR campaign in favor of the ballot iniative?

If I remember correctly, Didn't Frank O'Bannon return the huge state surplus we had a few years ago back to the voters?

I wonder if the state would still be in financial shambles if some of that surplus money was put into a "rainy day fund."

Mike Kole said...

The state's finances are only ever in a shambles when the Legislature authorizes more spending than the income permits, and the Governor signs that budget into law.

If O'Bannon returned money to the taxpayers- whose money it is, after all- then O'Bannon did right.

As for Colorado, I would bet a dime to a dollar that somebody was out there making the case for the spending. It must have been compelling enough. The forces for fiscal conservatism have to remember to make their case compellingly, too.

By the way, there was some other good news to come out of Colorado and their early ballot. This is left as an exercise.

Robert Enders said...

What O'Bannon did was put that money into the "Builk Indiana Fund" and turned a suplus into a deficit with little to show for it.

The LP was founded in Colorado. Looks like that state came a long way in the wrong direction.

Debbie said...

Other good news: Denver just passed an ordinance making it legal for those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana.

Bad news: State law still forbids it and state law trumps local law.

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