Regarding the Aug. 12 Rob Christensen column “The problems with TABOR”: The Senate is pushing the Constitutional Amendment Tax Legislation or “Taxpayers Bill of Rights.” State treasurer Janet Cowell cited its likely threat to the state’s triple-A bond rating.
On the surface, capping income tax rates and limiting spending, returning “excess” to taxpayers, may sound good. But when such a plan becomes part of the state Constitution, the legislature forgoes flexibility to reinvest in the state’s future.
As an AARP board member, I visited Colorado, which enacted this legislation, and talked with residents, business leaders and elected officials. Widespread opposition existed with severe limitations in public education, public health and infrastructure maintenance spending.
Colorado went from 24 to 50 in children receiving vaccinations before entering schools. The situation became so dire that the state had to suspend requirements for full vaccinations. Severe reductions in education and public investments caused business leaders to express opposition to the growing crisis, saying that no business could survive under this model.
Colorado voted to suspend TABOR in 2005 and made major revisions. TABOR has failed to pass in 30 other states. The Senate continues its “ram it through” process. This proposal should have open hearings at the least.