As readers know, the state has enjoyed a healthy temporary bounty of revenue over the last couple of years, and under the 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, revenue arbitrarily determined by TABOR’s Byzantine formula to be “excess” must be refunded to taxpayers through a variety of prescribed means. This year, the Democratic majority in the General Assembly passed a one-time change to the distribution formula for TABOR refund checks to individual taxpayers that significantly increased the amount paid to taxpayers making less than $50,000 per year. The bill also moved up the distribution of these refunds to this summer instead of next tax season.
Republicans howled that Democrats, who have been trying to break TABOR’s grip on the state’s fiscal policy for many years, were suddenly taking credit for the money TABOR forces the state to refund without respect to need. But this “inside baseball” crying foul means nothing to the thousands of lower-income households who are getting a significantly bigger check than they would have if this year’s TABOR refunds had been administered by a Republican majority. Redirecting TABOR into a means of providing direct economic stimulus to those who need it most–and are most likely to plow that stimulus right back into the economy–is major ideological and political coup for Democrats.
What’s the best proof of this? Republicans don’t want to fight about it anymore.
Interesting: Ganahl says she supports the change to flat TABOR refunds (same for everybody, rather than higher refunds for higher income.)
“I support the flat refund amount for everyone, if that is what it takes for far-left Democrats like Polis to support TABOR refunds.
— Andrew Kenney (@AndyKnny) August 8, 2022
In response to this unexpected concession from gubernatorial candidate
Hiedi Heidi Ganahl, local conservative fiscal policy talking head Michael Fields likewise waved the white flag on continuing to challenge the Democrat’s change in the TABOR distribution formula to benefit lower-income households:
After weeks of bitterly complaining about Democrats “rebranding” TABOR refunds into the “Colorado Cashback,” Heidi Ganahl just conceded that the biggest policy change Democrats made was a good idea! If the GOP’s candidate for governor supports Democrats altering TABOR to, as Barack Obama once put it, “spread the wealth around,” the contrived bluster from Republicans loses most of its steam.
Making lemonade out of lemons is a concept that voters can easily understand.