November 8, 2005
Colorado voters gut TABOR's core provision
Rug pulled out from under TABOR advocates in Tennessee
While the so-called Taxpayer Bill of Rights or TABOR has reared its ugly head
in Tennessee, reasonable minds have prevailed so far. As a result, it has never
made it out of Committee, thanks in part to the work of TFT. That hasn't stopped
Sen. Bryson, blogger Bill Hobbs, and other anti-government activists from continuing
to push TABOR. Their efforts though ware dealt a major blow last week as voters
in Colorado, the only state in the nation with such a TABOR provision, approved
a measure to gut TABOR's core provision.
Last Tuesday, November 1, 2005, Referendum C was approved in Colorado by a
52% to 48% vote. Referendum C eliminates for the next five years the mandatory
reimbursements of tax revenue raised above TABOR's artificial cap. Referendum
C requires instead that that revenue go to support K-12 schools, higher education,
and transportation. These services have suffered year-after-year of severe cuts
under TABOR's arbitrary limits and voters have taken note.
The companion measure, Referendum D, was narrowly defeated in a 49.4% to 50.6%
vote. This measure would have expanded on Referendum C, allowing the state to
issue bonds to jump-start the severely under funded education systems and other
public services that have suffered from years of cuts forced by TABOR.
The verdict? While Colorado voters may be wary of taking on new debt, the vote
on Referendum C shows that voters recognize TABOR's limits are unreasonable
and destructive to important public services.
Colorado has long been the poster-child and model for TABOR advocates nationwide,
including Tennessee. As a result, the passage of Referendum C in Colorado should
send a clear message to legislators in Tennessee and other states that TABOR
is the wrong way to go. Even Colorado, the birthplace of TABOR, is realizing
the damage done and changing their ways.
the great Tennessean editorial on the TABOR vote!
Other analysis and perspectives of the TABOR victory:
Get more information on TABOR: