Colorado's TABOR law, hospital provider fee create challenges for those who create Colorado's budget

Posted at 11:00 AM, Nov 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-20 13:00:02-05

DENVER -- Sometimes we hear about cuts in the state budget and it means a program or department is losing money and sometimes it just means they aren’t getting the increase in funding they requested.

On this week’s Politics Unplugged, Henry Sobanet of the Governor’s Office of State Planning & Budgeting talked with Marshall Zelinger about the challenges of budgeting for Colorado.  

“The budget, overall, is going to grow,” Sobanet said. “But if we leave it on auto-pilot, the way it is laid out in the statute or the Constitution we won’t have enough to make ends meet in every place.”

One of the biggest challenge for lawmakers and Sobanet’s office is Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) law.  It requires a vote of the people before taxes are raised, limiting the growth in state revenues and spending to a combination of inflation and the percentage increase in the state’s population. 

TABOR can make it tricky to increase spending in certain areas, and lawmakers are going to be asked again this year to re-categorize Colorado’s hospital provider fee so that it doesn’t count against the revenue cap, which will free up more general funds to spent in other areas.


Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4pm on Denver7.