Monday, January 19, 2015

TABOR – Hickenlooper’s State of the State

What to do about the TABOR surplus is a top priority for Colorado political leadership. The issue is
driven by the timeline. A TABOR decision needs to be made before the state budget can be developed.

Gov. John Hickenlooper
Although Governor Hickenlooper cited the Colorado conundrum of returning surplus when there is inadequate funding for various projects and programs, it is clear neither he nor Democratic legislators intend on taking the lead to place a TABOR timeout on the ballot. Both are gun shy of tax increases given the experience in 2013 with Amendment 66 (billion dollar tax increase loses 2-to-1) and last November’s tough elections.

One of the strongest advocates for taking on TABOR, former Democratic Governor Roy Romer, was in office when TABOR originally passed in 1992 in spite of his opposition.

It is not clear the business community is willing to take on a TABOR election. The 2005 Referendum C five-year timeout was a major effort and barely won. Importantly, there is no Republican governor to campaign for it. Governor Owens’ support made the difference and he was criticized endlessly for his effort by the Republican right. Today, Republicans will be uniformly against it.

It appears dead!

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