Editorial: Voters may have final say on raising state revenue limits
Author: The Pueblo Chieftain - March 5, 2017 - Updated: March 5, 2017
The Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights revenue limits would be changed in a way to reduce projected TABOR refunds by $209 million in the first full year under legislation introduced in the Legislature.
We use the word “legislation” advisedly. Normally, such an amendment to the TABOR constitutional provision would require a two-thirds vote in both the Colorado House and Senate before it could be referred to the voters next fall. In this case, however, the sponsors — Rep. Dan Thurlow, R-Grand Junction, and Sen. Larry Crowder, R-Alamosa — have introduced it as House Bill 1187, as if changing the TABOR revenue limit were merely a statutory change requiring only a simple majority of the House and Senate to get it on the November ballot.
The fact is that the TABOR revenue and spending limits are cemented in the Colorado Constitution, specifically Article 10, Section 20.
What would be the motive to treat HB1187 as a statute? Simply, such a statute requires approval of only 33 of the 65 members of the House and 18 of the 35 state senators. By contrast, a constitutional amendment requires 44 votes in the House and 24 votes in the Senate to go forward.