November 6, 2015

CACI Colorado Capitol Report: Governor Issues 2016-2017 Budget with $373 Million in Cuts–and $189 Million in Taxpayer Refunds

The beneficiaries of the cuts would be Medicaid, K-12 schools and patching up a projected deficit of $160.3 million in the current fiscal year’s budget.  The Governor proposes taking money from the State’s reserve fund to cover the deficit and then using money from the 2016-2017 budget to replenish the reserve.

On the other hand, TABOR, the State Constitutional Amendment that limits the percentage of additional tax revenue that the State can retain each year to inflation plus population growth, will result in the State refunding $189 million to taxpayers.  Rebates to individual taxpayers will range from $34 to $108, with the average being $51.

Such is the budgetary paradox of Colorado’s tax system because of conflicting, voter-approved, Constitutional amendments.  Resolving the paradox during the 2016 legislative session will be exacerbated by the intense, partisan politics of a critical election year.