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Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights, Initiative 1 (1992)

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The Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), also known as Initiative 1, was on the November 3, 1992 ballot in Colorado as an initiated constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The famed measure, thought up by Douglas Bruce, requires statewide voter approval of tax increases that exceed an index created by combining inflation and population increases.[1][2]

Election results

Colorado Initiative 1 (1992)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 812,308 53.68%
No700,90646.32%

Election results via: Colorado State Legislative Council, Ballot History

Text of measure

See also: Colorado State Constitution, Article X

The language appeared on the ballot as:[2]

This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado Constitution to require voter approval for certain state and local government tax revenue increases and debt; to restrict property, income, and other taxes; to limit the rate of increase in state and local government spending; to allow additional initiative and referendum elections; and to provide for the mailing of information to registered voters?

Aftermath

A lawsuit has been filed with U.S. District Court in Denver, with plaintiffs arguing that the amendment is unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed during the week of May 27, 2011 by 34 bipartisan plaintiffs, according to reports.[3]

According to Doug Bruce, author of the citizen initiative, stated that if the lawsuit is successful in its efforts, it could allow lawmakers unlimited power, and could be extremely detrimental to citizen initiative efforts in the state of Colorado. Bruce stated: "This isn’t only attacking Colorado. The consequences of a ruling in their favor would invalidate the Constitution in all 50 states, and would also mean no limits on the federal government. We would have anarchy.”[3]

However, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, David Skaggs, stated that the measure limits state legislators and conflicts with both the state and United States constitutions. Skaggs also argues that other initiatives have been overturned, but that it did not negatively affect the process. Skaggs commented: "Courts won’t reach beyond the narrow question presented. Yes, we got to this issue by initiative”, but the lawsuit targets TABOR and not citizens' initiatives.[3]

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