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  • PERA’s Problems in 2016

    PERA’s Problems in 20160

    • November 20, 2016

    Colorado’s Public Employee Retirement Association, PERA, is the public pension plan for Colorado’s state workers and public school teachers, as well as some local government employees. PERA has five major divisions, State Division, School Division, Denver Public Schools Division, Local Government Division, and Judicial Division. Far and away, the two largest divisions are the State and School Division.

    PERA’s largest offering is its Defined Benefit plan, which promises lifetime benefits for retirees, based on age at retirement and years worked. It functions in lieu of Social Security for its active members. The plan is funded by a combination of government contributions and member contributions, which vary from division to division. PERA also offers a smaller Defined Contribution plan.

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  • The Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights

    The Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights0

    • September 9, 2016

    Nearly all American constitutions, federal and state, contain financial restrictions. Some of the state restrictions are very comprehensive. So Colorado’s “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” (TABOR) is not as “unique” as both its friends and its enemies claim. But TABOR is probably the most famous provision of its kind.

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  • The Empty Promise and Untold Cost of Urban Renewal in Colorado

    The Empty Promise and Untold Cost of Urban Renewal in Colorado0

    • August 29, 2016

    This paper examines the empty promises and untold costs of Urban Renewal Areas (URAs) and the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in URAs in Colorado.

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  • Two Decades of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR)

    Two Decades of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR)0

    • May 23, 2016

    Over two decades have passed since Colorado voters adopted The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in 1992. TABOR allows government spending to grow each year at the rate of inflation-plus-population. Government can increase faster whenever voters consent. Likewise, tax rates can be increased whenever voters consent. This Issue Paper analyzes TABOR’s effect on state government spending and taxes by examining three decades: The 1983-92 pre-TABOR decade; the first decade of TABOR, 1993-2002; and the second decade, 2003-12. The final decade included the largest tax increase in Colorado history, enacted as Referendum C in 2005. Decade-2 was also marked by increasing efforts to evade TABOR by defining nearly 60% of the state budget as “exempt” from TABOR.

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  • A Tax Disguised as a Fee: The Hospital Provider Fee Fund

    A Tax Disguised as a Fee: The Hospital Provider Fee Fund2

    • May 2, 2016

    By calling the provider charge a fee rather than a tax, the legislature was able to collect and use the revenue from the provider charge without asking permission from the voters.

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  • A Billion Dollars Worth of Bad Ideas: Amendment 66 Tax Hike0

    • October 3, 2013

    Amendment 66 would replace Colorado’s flat income tax of 4.63 percent of federal adjusted gross income with the two bracket system shown in Table 1: Colorado Income Tax Rates if Amendment 66 Passes. Passing Amendment 66 also passes SB13-213, the new 141-page state school finance law.

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