Colorado is the only state in the nation to have enacted the ALEC-inspired “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” or “TABOR” constitutional amendment. The results were disastrous — so disastrous that many in Colorado started referring to the law as “TABOG” — the “Taxpayer Bill of Goods.”
Now, the North Carolina Senate is trying to foist this failed gimmick on on us. Here, as reported by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, are just some of the dreadful things that happened to Colorado and that led state business leaders to push through a five-year suspension of the law:
“Colorado’s national rankings on a number of public services plummeted under TABOR. For example:
- Colorado fell from 35th to 49th in the nation in K-12 spending as a percentage of personal income.
- College and university funding as a share of personal income declined from 35th in the nation to 48th.
- Colorado fell to near the bottom of national rankings in providing children with full, on-time vaccinations.
- The share of low-income children in the state who lacked health insurance doubled, making Colorado the worst in the nation by this measure.
In addition, TABOR failed to improve Colorado’s business climate or economy, contrary to the predictions of its supporters. Instead it contributed to a credit rating downgrade and alarmed business leaders by undermining the state’s ability to invest in its basic infrastructure and workforce.”
It is because of reasons like these that, since Colorado adopted TABOR, every other state that has gotten close has rejected it. In several instances, it was voters themselves who said “no.”
Today, in an extremely positive development, North Carolina Treasurer Janet Cowell stated her strong opposition to the Senate proposal based on the threat it would pose to the state’s hard won AAA bond rating. This makes sense given that bond houses specifically cited TABOR in downgrading Colorado’s credit rating.
Let’s hope that Cowell’s statement helps tip the scale on this disastrous proposal. Stay tuned.