With the state of Colorado in a rare and temporary condition of having plenty of revenue resulting from a quick recovery from the economic disruption of COVID and lots of federal relief money still working its way out the door, state economic forecasters had good news for the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee today–and thanks to a change in the distribution formula for refunds to taxpayers triggered in sunny economic times by the state’s notorious Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights by majority Democrats this year, the JBC’s good news is about to directly impact your bottom line. The Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul reports:
The big takeaway: State lawmakers are expected to have more money to fund government services in the coming years as revenue continues to exceed the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights cap on government growth and spending, which is calculated through population growth and inflation. When the TABOR cap is exceeded, Coloradans get tax breaks and, if the excess is large enough, which it is expected to be for the foreseeable future, refund checks…
Colorado Legislative Council said the state’s economy also has fared better than expected in the final months of the 2021-22 fiscal year, which ends June 30. As a result, the nonpartisan office expects Colorado taxpayers will get TABOR refund checks of $750 per individual filer and $1,500 for joint filers starting in late August. [Pols emphasis] (People who file their returns after June 30 will have to wait several months longer to receive their refund checks.)
As readers know, TABOR requires the state to refund “excess” revenue over the law’s prescribed limits to taxpayers. In most years when economic conditions were good enough to trigger refunds, the average Colorado resident would receive a tiny sales tax refund check–in 2021 averaging $69 per taxpayer, along with other indirect refund mechanisms like reducing the income tax rate. Senate Bill 22-223, a single-year TABOR refund plan, made the checks equal for everyone, which had the effect of routing much more money to lower income levels. In addition, the law pays out the refund this summer instead of next spring, which is the pretext for Republicans calling the bill an “election season giveaway.”
We don’t know anybody who likes waiting for money. And if it was about the election, the checks would arrive in October.
Does this mean Democrats have suddenly become TABOR fans? Certainly not. But while TABOR remains on the books, redistributing the “excess” revenue the law forces the state to refund irrespective of need to better benefit working families is a far better outcome than giving rich people big checks and regular people checks so small they’re practically an insult. The latest economic forecast doesn’t predict a recession in the immediate future for Colorado, but the lean times will most certainly return–and when they do, TABOR will still be dictating fiscal policy to today’s lawmakers instead of allowing them to do their jobs.
In short, Democrats took one of Colorado’s most regressive constitutional provisions and redirected it to do something relatively progressive: helping many more people in a much bigger way. Republicans can’t really complain about what will prove to be a very popular plan when the checks arrive, even though the formula that made this a much more lucrative stimulus for regular taxpayers wasn’t their idea.
2022 will be remembered as the year TABOR finally did some good despite itself.
This is beautiful! I love it when a Dem gets to give out money in tax refunds.
The best part is that inflation will eat it all up and STILL give Coloradans a pay cut this year! Thanks, Democrats!
You'll bitch if your ice cream is cold.
Turkey inflation rate – 73.5 % = definitely the work of the Democrats and not a worldwide market situation at all
Brazil inflation rate – 11.73 % = the Democrats for sure
Argentina inflation rate – 60.7 % = the Democrats
India inflation rate – 7.4 % = yep, the Democrats again
I would add, listening to Moddy bitch about the Democrats is a pretty similar dynamic to when the power goes out in Pyongyang – you have to have some nefarious, evil empire to blame to distract from your own shortcomings. Their go to: The "goddamned Americans" turned our power off again!
I’m surprised, Moderatus, that you haven’t figured out how to deal with the current levels of inflation. Conservatives are supposed to be good money managers. Thanks for asking, I’m doing fine in my own dealing.
The current crop of fascist Qpublican should realize that bitching about the other side's fiscal decisions does not a good money manager make.
Moderatus is an odd type of conversative in that he is a government employee feeding off of the teat of the taxpayer.
Moderatus is also Exhibit A in my argument on why we do not need a government-run health care system.
Because the government is dumb enough to hire him?
Blatant hypocrisy is one of the only sins Conservatives allow themselves to enjoy publicly. It gives them a naughty little tingle.
I suspect you meant to say: "only sins that some conservatives allow"
You suspect incorrectly.
Anyone see a Republican proposal for dealing with inflation? I don't recall reading about one in the Colorado Republican platform. So I went looking, and the closest I could find is
Approved Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention Resolutions
and that document does not include the word "inflation" at all.
And we all know the 2020 Republican National Convention didn't have a platform.
Senate Leader McConnell is happy to point out that it is the Democrats' fault … but has NO word on what to do NOW in order to make inflation better. Higher Inflation Erodes Americans’ Finances, As Economists Lay Blame On Excessive Dem Spending [February, 2022] and Democrats May Have Inflated America Toward a Recession [June, 2022]
House Leader McCarthy is even less helpful.
So, what would the Republicans do?
"I don't recall reading about one in the Colorado Republican platform"
Neither have I. And that's because they don't need one. Just like they didn't need one to run successfully against the ACA in 2010. Nor do they need a solution to gun violence other than those always helpful thoughts and prayer.
Why should they offer an alternative when they can simply harness the anger of people and direct it at the incumbent government.
The Dems did it in 2020. Biden got elected by being the non-Trump. Moderates saw him as a CENTER-left candidate and progressives saw him as a LEFT-center candidate.
To combat inflation, the Republicans would pass a TAX CUT, the bigger the better for the people of money, and give away the store to the oil and gas industry. It’s their only solution for anything and everything, silly.