Repeal of Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) could be on Colorado Ballot in 2020

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) can be removed from the state constitution by a single ballot measure, which paves the way for a possible ballot initiative next year.

See below for an overview of the news coverage on this decision:

From the Colorado Sun:

The state title board, which oversees ballot access, ruled in January that trying to repeal TABOR in its entirety would violate the state constitution’s “single subject” rule for ballot measures and legislation. That’s because TABOR is a far-reaching amendment that covers several different issues, such as tax policy, debt, revenue growth, taxpayer refunds and elections.

But in the 5-2 opinion, the court ruled that the board’s argument is not “analytically sound,” and wrote that the purpose of the single subject rule was to make sure voters knew exactly what they were approving at the ballot.

From the Denver Post:

TABOR limits the growth of government by giving voters the authority to approve or reject all proposed tax increases. And it limits how many tax dollars Colorado governments can keep, requiring them to return any money they collect above a spending limit or cap. It also restricts what can be on the ballot in odd-numbered years and dictates the wording of tax increase questions.

Having to take each of these parts out of the Colorado Constitution separately would, the court found, “make it exceptionally difficult, if not impossible, to repeal a provision like TABOR,” and “such a process could cause the very problem that the single-subject requirement is designed to avoid, namely, voter surprise.”

From Colorado Politics:

The initiative now goes back to the Title Board to resume the process for putting it on the ballot, including setting a ballot title. After that, if backers chose to continue with the initiative, they would begin to circulate petitions to try to place it on the ballot.

From Colorado Public Radio:

Supporters of the repeal say they may take it to the polls in 2020. [Governor] Polis told Colorado Matters he opposes the plan because he believes voters should be allowed to decide on tax hikes.

Click here to view the Supreme Court decision.