In 1992, voters approved an amendment to the Colorado Constitution known as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), that limits the revenue raising and spending abilities of state and local governments. TABOR requires voter approval for any increase in tax rates, new taxes, or creation of multi-year debt. Revenue earned in excess of the spending limit must be refunded to the taxpayers unless voters approve retention of those revenues. In addition, TABOR requires the establishment of reserves equal to 3% of fiscal year spending, excluding debt service, for all years subsequent to 1994 for declared emergencies.
In 1995, voters exempted RTD from TABOR’s revenue and spending limitations through December 31, 2005. In 1999, voters further exempted RTD from those limitations for the purpose of paying debt incurred to finance the construction of the Southeast and Southwest light rail lines or to operate such for as long as any debt remains outstanding, but in no event beyond December 31, 2026. These voter-approved ballot measures are commonly referred to as Debrucing, named after TABOR’s author Douglas Bruce.
In 2004, voters authorized an increase in RTD’s sales and use tax rate from 0.6% to 1.0%, effective January 1, 2005, to finance the FasTracks transit improvement program. This authorization also exempted RTD from any revenue and spending limitations on the additional tax and on investment income generated by the increased tax revenue and allowed RTD to incur debt to finance the FasTracks capital improvements. When all FasTracks debt is repaid, RTD’s sales and use tax rate will be reduced and the Debrucing exemption will expire.
RTD Board Chair Vince Buzek has appointed Directors Bob Broom and Shelly Cook as Co-Chairs of the TABOR Ad Hoc Committee to evaluate TABOR’s impacts on RTD, assess options including a potential Debrucing ballot measure, and make recommendations to the full Board of Directors. Future meeting dates and agenda materials for this Ad Hoc Committee will be posted here and on the RTD Board’s Two-Week Calendar webpage.
Thursday, May 4, 2023 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Held via Zoom
To join the meeting: Register Here
(connect using either Chrome or Firefox web browser)
Or to listen by phone: 720-928-9299
Webinar ID: 849 0376 8203#
Webinar Passcode: 1660#
2023 COMMITTEE MEMBERS