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Colorado State Spending, Referendum C (2005)

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The Colorado State Spending Referendum, also known as Referendum C, was on the statewide November 1, 2005 ballot in Colorado as a legislatively-referred state statute, where it was approved. Referendum C permits the state to spend the money it collects over its TABOR limit for the next five years on health care, public education, transportation projects, and local fire and police pensions; eliminates for the next five years refunds that taxpayers receive when the state collects more than it is allowed to spend, and reduces these refunds thereafter.[1]

The campaign battle over Referendum C was very hotly-contested. Supporters of Referendum C outspent its opponents with approximately $8 million spent by 14 different political committees advocating for its passage, while about 7 committees cumulatively spent about $3.5 million to defeat it.[2]

See also: Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights Act (1992)

Election results

Colorado Referendum C (2005)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 600,222 52.06%
No552,66247.94%

Election results via:Colorado Secretary of State Elections Department.

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1][3]

WITHOUT RAISING TAXES AND IN ORDER TO PAY FOR EDUCATION; HEALTH CARE; ROADS, BRIDGES, AND OTHER STRATEGIC TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS; AND RETIREMENT PLANS FOR FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS, SHALL THE STATE BE AUTHORIZED TO RETAIN AND SPEND ALL STATE REVENUES IN EXCESS OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITATION ON STATE FISCAL YEAR SPENDING FOR THE NEXT FIVE FISCAL YEARS BEGINNING WITH THE 2005-06 FISCAL YEAR, AND TO RETAIN AND SPEND AN AMOUNT OF STATE REVENUES IN EXCESS OF SUCH LIMITATION FOR THE 2010-11 FISCAL YEAR AND FOR EACH SUCCEEDING FISCAL YEAR UP TO THE EXCESS STATE REVENUES CAP, AS DEFINED BY THIS MEASURE?[4]

Background

Spending limits

How does the constitution limit state spending?

A constitutional provision commonly known as TABOR limits the amount of money the state may spend each year. It limits the annual increase for some state revenue to inflation plus the percentage change in state population. Any money collected above this limit is refunded to taxpayers, unless the voters allow the state to spend it. Referendum C asks voters if the state may spend money it collects above the limit on health care, public education, transportation projects, and local fire and police pensions.[3][4]

What money?

What money is included within the limit?[3]

The constitutional spending limit applies to about 60 percent of the money collected by the state, including income taxes, sales taxes, fees, fines, and interest earnings. Money received from the federal government, enterprises, lawsuits, and gifts is not covered by the spending limit and is not included in this analysis.[4]

Limit implementation

How has the spending limit worked?Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

Donor Amount
Denver Chamber of Commerce $708,000
Pat Stryker $280,000
Colorado Education Association $250,000
Tim Gill $250,000
SEIU $130,000
AFSCME $110,000

See also

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External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Colorado State Legislative Council, "Ballot History," accessed February 25, 2014
  2. Donations to and against Colorado Referendum C
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Blue Book: 2005 State Ballot Information Booklet
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.