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SB607 “TABOR” Is a Terrible Idea

Republicans are desperate to distract attention because they can’t balance the budget after giving huge tax breaks to the millionaires and shifting the burden to everyone else. This new budget gimmick is confusing, unnecessary and will have unintended consequences. North Carolina is already required to balance the state budget. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Only 1 state actually used this shell game budget policy, and the results were higher property taxes AND dramatic cuts to vital community services from schools to health centers to roads. After over a decade of higher local taxes and budget cuts, in 2005, Colorado voters decided to remove many of the policies that are now being debated in NC.

Key Points

  • This policy could end up raising taxes. The artificial limits do not make politicians or government more accountable.
  • North Carolina is already ranked near the bottom in teacher pay. This policy prevents us getting to the national average.
  • This policy in Colorado led to layoffs of teachers and law enforcement officers, and reduced services for families and seniors. It might be worse here.
  • This policy will hurt the economy by making it harder to attract business to the state. Business leaders in Colorado led a charge to get rid of that state’s similar laws.
  • These policies will hurt NC’s AAA bond rating – one of only 10 states with the top rating.
  • This budget gimmick does NOTHING to make government more efficient, lower taxes for ordinary people OR fix our schools.
  • For almost three years, the Republican politicians in Raleigh have taken the side of special interests over hard-working people. This last-minute scheme is another example.
  • The policy has only been used in one state – and voters there replaced it after disastrous impacts on schools, colleges, and health care. It even forced Colorado to close community health centers in the middle of a whopping cough epidemic.
  • This policy replaces local decision making with a complicated one-size-fits all formula.
  • In some states, similar proposals included language that specifically invites anybody, even people and corporations from outside the state, to sue the state and have taxpayers pay their lawyer fees. Frivolous lawsuits could
tie up the court system and delay essential public services.
  • In Colorado, the TABOR law restricts the State University Athletic programs, making it difficult to compete with other schools in their conferences.