One of the more unattractive recommendations coming out of Building a Better Colorado was the proposal to scrap TABOR, or the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, for ten years and dedicate the increased revenue to projects needing funding. According to the proposal, at least 35 percent of the extra cash would go toward education, at least 35 percent toward transportation and anything left over would go toward mental health and senior services.
The reason the campaign died a timely death is debated. Organizers of the campaign told the Denver Business Journal
“However, organizers said they became increasingly worried about getting their message out during an election that could feature as many as 10 other ballot initiatives, as well as presidential and U.S. Senate races in this state.
“Also, backers ‘were unable to raise the large amount of money necessary to gather enough signatures to qualify,’ noted Lisa Weil, executive director of campaign supporter Great Education Colorado, noted in an email to her organization.”
Jon Caldara, head of the Independence Institute, offered another reason the campaign died:
“Jon Caldara, the president of the Independence Institute and the most vocal critic of the effort, said, however, that his organization’s polls showed Colorado Priorities gaining just 44 percent support. And he said that he was disappointed at the decision to end the campaign. He said the ballot battle would have given him an opportunity to show how much state residents don’t want officials to keep more taxpayer revenues, especially when Medicaid spending is going up faster than any other part of state government.”
Whatever the reason, the move is good news for Colorado taxpayers. While there is no question that roads and schools could use more funding, the truth is that Colorado needs to get its budgetary house in order before it asks for more taxpayer dollars.