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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

A Decade of TABOR - Ten Years After: Analysis of Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights

Policy Series by Fred Holden

In this article, Fred Holden analyzes the Colorado TABOR (Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights), a tax-and-spending limitation, constitutional amendment. Passed by voters in 1992, TABOR is meant to “reasonably restrain most of the growth of government.” It allows only those tax rate increases approved by voters; while fees are not directly restricted, state government spending is limited to growth of Colorado’s population, plus inflation, in the prior year.

Holden analyzes TABOR’s effect on Colorado by contrasting taxation and spending before and after its enactment. In the decade before TABOR, Colorado state revenues and spending grew well over twice the population-plus-inflation growth. With TABOR, Holden shows that all three values were very close, indicating that TABOR had significantly restrained and controlled Colorado government growth. Holden contends that the Bill’s measured effects on government and non-government employment and distribution were impressive.

Holden concludes that TABOR is a success, arguing it has passed its own test to reasonably contain growth of the Colorado government, taxation, and spending. Many opponents of TABOR predicted it would force the economy into a state of crisis, which did not happen. Instead, Holden asserts, private-sector job creation and the state government grew at a reasonable pace, and Colorado families retained much more of the fruits of their labour.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Fred Holden;
Publisher: Frontier Centre for Public Policy [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Tax Policy
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Tax Policy / 2004
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary

Keywords / Tags:

Colorado Taxpayer's Bill of Rights; tax and spending limitations; government growth; inflation; job creation; private sector;