But, the Colorado State Legislature just put two proposals on the ballot: Proposition CC, a permanent TABOR override, and Proposition DD, allowing and taxing sports betting, that could pass.
Proposition CC: Retain revenue for education and transportation
WITHOUT RAISING TAXES AND TO BETTER FUND PUBLIC SCHOOLS, HIGHER EDUCATION, AND ROADS, BRIDGES, AND TRANSIT, WITHIN A BALANCED BUDGET, MAY THE STATE KEEP AND SPEND ALL THE REVENUE IT ANNUALLY COLLECTS AFTER JUNE 30, 2019, BUT IS NOT CURRENTLY ALLOWED TO KEEP AND SPEND UNDER COLORADO LAW, WITH AN ANNUAL INDEPENDENT AUDIT TO SHOW HOW THE RETAINED REVENUES ARE SPENT?
Proposition DD: Authorize and tax sports betting
SHALL STATE TAXES BE INCREASED BY TWENTY-NINE MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY TO FUND STATE WATER PROJECTS AND COMMITMENTS AND TO PAY FOR THE REGULATION OF SPORTS BETTING THROUGH LICENSED CASINOS BY AUTHORIZING A TAX ON SPORTS BETTING OF TEN PERCENT OF NET SPORTS BETTING PROCEEDS, AND TO IMPOSE THE TAX ON PERSONS LICENSED TO CONDUCT SPORTS BETTING OPERATIONS?
Why the better chance for more revenue in November 2019?
- A five-year TABOR override barely passed in 2005, but since then, local governments’ TABOR overrides have become commonplace. A recent survey in Arapahoe County showed a TABOR override for the county, one of the few counties in the state without an override, would be approved by 60 percent.
- Sin taxes remain popular. Marijuana and gaming produce revenue much of the public is willing to allow and anxious to tax. A gaming activity increase (higher table betting limits) was approved handily in 2008 and the tax dollars put into community colleges and gaming towns.
- Although there will be a defense of TABOR from longtime supporters, they will be countered by a well-oiled advocacy group for TABOR reform, especially override of its “caps.”
- Without a rival gaming group willing to oppose the sports gaming legalization the public is likely to see as a painless source of tax revenue for a good cause – the well identified need for state water programs and projects.
- Colorado’s changed political climate appears to offer some additional support for proposals that have a progressive consensus, especially if supported by the legislative leadership and Governor Polis.
Of course, a lower turnout electorate and a long history of mistrust of state government will still have to be overcome, but 2019 may change the direction on giving state government some, if not much, additional tax revenue.