It only took seven weeks after the voters of Colorado said no to a statewide proposal that would have gutted the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) – a proposal pushed by a campaign that heavily outspent the opposition – for the Democrats to be back at it again.
Rollie Heath, a Boulder Democrat elected to the Senate, said that as lawmakers grapple in the coming session with cutting as much as $600 million from the budget because of declining revenues, they should also look at TABOR, a revenue-capping provision of the state’s constitution.
The state is in a timeout from TABOR’s tax-revenue limits, but that timeout expires in 2010, when Colorado will have to begin refunding to taxpayers any revenue it collects over TABOR’s prescribed limit.
“We’re hamstrung,” Heath said. “Not only does it put a limitation, it takes away your flexibility. We desperately need flexibility right now.
Sounds like my family’s budget.
Of course, TABOR has nothing to do with the projected $600 million shortfall in revenues. Even with the Democrats in charge at the State Capitol, I have a hard time seeing how Heath’s proposal gets very far. But they could prove me wrong.
With all the alleged foresight of those who backed Referendum C and raised our taxes, it appears they did nothing to help save for this eventuality. Now is the time for prudent and creative budget-cutting in state government, not talk of pulling the rug out from under taxpayers’ feet. Nevertheless, putting the Democrats in charge apparently means the latter approach.