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TABOR, accountability for excessive government growth

Updated: Jan 6, 2023

In the private sector our income is generated from customers and clients. Woe to the businessman who does not understand that simple fact and fails to consult his clients before raising prices. It’s a simple business principle: One needs to be able to tell clients there is good reason they should pay more. Maybe it’s because you’ve improved the product. Maybe it’s because your cost of doing business has increased.

The same principle applies to the public-sector. The public official who raises taxes without consulting with and getting permission from the taxpayers does so at his or her own peril.

I learned this tried-and-true principle long ago in the private sector.

Unfortunately, the public sector has never really learned this lesson. As a result, we watch in disbelief as the federal government runs astronomical deficits, and we experience the worst inflation we’ve seen in more than 40 years.

In Colorado, we have a strong and workable mechanism to require public officials to be prudent when we raise and spend the money our citizens entrust us with. It’s called TABOR, short for the Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, and it’s been with us since voters enshrined it in the Colorado Constitution in 1992. Over the years it has evolved into an effective tool for keeping the growth of state and local government under control.

I’m sure many of you recently received $750 checks from the State of Colorado—a refund to you for an overage you paid the state. It was not a gift. It was simply your money being returned to you. It was much like over-paying your phone bill, or your energy bill. Assuming you do business with reputable companies, your phone carrier or your public utility company will refund or credit the overage. TABOR makes the state of Colorado and every local government do the same. So, if you want to say thanks when you open the envelope and find $750, thank TABOR, the Constitutional Amendment that requires the state to refund excess tax revenue.

I’m a staunch supporter of limiting the size of government and requiring voters to approve any tax increase. TABOR does exactly that.

I have a long record of supporting TABOR, and I will continue to do so as your state representative. We know what happens to government when it operates with no brakes. It gets larger and larger and larger, and as it bloats it intrudes more and more into our lives.

I will use my decades-long experience as an entrepreneur and business leader to ensure we hold government growth in Colorado in check.

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