Study Shows That Colorado Taxpayers Will Lose $2.8 Billion in Tabor Refunds Because of the Lawmakers

Study Shows That Colorado Taxpayers Will Lose $2.8 Billion in Tabor Refunds Because of the Lawmakers

A new study from the Common Sense Institute says that over $2.8 billion in state TABOR refunds will not go to Colorado taxpayers between 2024 and 2026 because of 101 bills that were passed by the Colorado legislature.

In its study after the 2024 Colorado legislative session, CSI found that the $2.8 billion loss is just less than half of the $6 billion that was expected to be returned by TABOR over the next three years.

“This session, lawmakers paid a lot of attention to TABOR refunds,” CSI Mike A. Leprino Fellow Lang Sias said in a statement.

“What began a few years ago has turned into what we saw during the 2024 session,” he said. “More than 100 bills redirected TABOR refunds.”

Colorado taxpayers get TABOR returns from the state when it has more money than it needs. The money is sent back to them in the next fiscal year.

A study from CSI says that Colorado taxpayers will lose $2.8 million in TABOR refunds over the next three years. This is mostly because of tax cuts and the cost of bills that affect TABOR.

According to CSI’s study, TABOR refund cuts will get worse over the next three years.

CSI says that after the 2024 congressional session, TABOR refunds will be cut by $523 million in 2024, $1.06 billion in 2025, and $1.25 billion in 2026.

CSI VP of Policy & Research Chris Brown said in a statement that the TABOR dollars were moved around “amid unprecedented revenue growth and a $40 billion state budget.”

“Lawmakers got around the normal ways of getting refunds by proposing a long list of tax cuts, tax credits, and ways to get money to people,” he said.

According to CSI’s study, most of the money that was redirected from 101 TABOR-related bills that were passed went to “mainly families and low-income Coloradans.”

Those bills included lowering tax rates, giving tax credits, and moving money around.

When legislatures cut back on TABOR refunds, CSI said, it “broadly undermines TABOR’s intent by separating taxpayers’ contributions to state revenue from the values of refunds they receive and telling them how that money should be spent instead.”

Out of the last $3.28 billion, $3.1 billion was given to each Colorado taxpayer as a straight payment of $8,000.

The last $180 million was used to pay for the Earned Income Tax Credit, which was passed by lawmakers last year.

Voters in Colorado turned down Proposition HH in November. It was a plan to get TABOR returns in exchange for lower property taxes.

Recently, because of a mistake in the books, Colorado taxpayers will get back an extra $67 million in TABOR refunds.

CSI’s report said that the state’s TABOR refund laws “will diminish taxpayers’ agency to decide, whether by saving, investing, or giving to charity, how best to allocate money that they would normally be owed.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *