Colorado taxpayers to begin receiving TABOR refunds next week
Beginning next week, Colorado taxpayers who filed their taxes by June 30 will begin receiving cashback rebates in the mail. Individual filers will receive $750, while joint filers will receive $1,500. These checks are the result of a more equitable distribution of rebates required by the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). However, TABOR is not necessary for these payments to happen – policymakers can provide these types of critical support to families in good economic times without TABOR.
Passed in 1992, TABOR requires voter approval for any tax increases and set limits on the amount of revenue retained by state and local government. TABOR requires surplus revenue to be sent to taxpayers in three ways: a temporary cut to the flat income tax rate, property tax relief for senior and veteran homeowners, and sales tax rebates that are sent out in a six-tiered system. In the six-tiered system, wealthier individuals receive higher amounts back than low and middle-class individuals. In an effort to make these rebates more equitable, legislators plan on introducing a bill to provide payments of the same amount to every filer, regardless of income.
Providing direct cash to families is one of the most impactful ways to support their financial prosperity. Direct cash support is especially critical during a time in which many Colorado families are struggling to make ends meet in the face of inflation, the rising cost of living, and the continued economic impacts of the pandemic. These payments will place money in families’ pockets to help cover the costs of basic needs such as food, diapers, clothing and rent.
At the same time, it is critical that we recognize the pressing need for legislators to address Colorado’s highly inequitable tax policies. The state’s current tax policies often undermine public investment and create barriers for those with middle or low incomes. In addition, TABOR has a significant impact on school funding, and hinders critical investments in health, transportation and housing by constraining the state budget. This creates enormous inequities in how our state collects and spends money in school districts, and limits the investments Colorado can make in programs that support families.
We applaud advocates, state legislators, and the governor’s office for their leadership in taking this step to prioritize Colorado families – even within the constraints of our inequitable tax policies. We call on our elected officials to bravely reimagine our tax system so all Coloradans can benefit from our growing economy. When we pursue equitable tax policies that fund our public programs and invest in our collective well-being, we can continue to make Colorado the best possible state for kids and families. To learn more about the cashback rebates visit https://www.cpr.org/2022/07/27/tabor-checks-what-to-know/.