2009 tax and revenue legislative review
In 2009, the Colorado General Assembly took significant steps to improve and strengthen state tax and fiscal policy. A conservative interpretation of legislative prerogative has limited tax policy options available to the Legislature since the passage of TABOR in 1992. On March 16, 2009, the Colorado Supreme Court rendered a decision in the Mill Levy Stabilization case (Mesa County Bd. of Commissioners Comm’rs v. State of Colorado) that restored the role of the Legislature in decision-making on tax policy. In this decision the Supreme Court found that a “‘tax policy change directly causing a net tax revenue gain’ only requires voter approval when the revenue gain exceeds the limits dictated by subsection (7)”. This finding has clarified that the General Assembly has the authority to close tax loopholes so long as the revenue gain does not cause state revenue to exceed the TABOR revenue limit. The General Assembly exercised this restored authority twice during the 2009 Session (HB 1366 and HB 1342). These revenue enhancements were part of the package of measures required to balance the budget based on the March Legislative Council revenue projections.
Released May 18, 2009