Revenue Cap [TABOR]

TABOR voted down - 1
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TABOR [Tax Payer Bill of Rights]
Houston calls it the “revenue cap” but throughout the US it is known as TABOR.

Houstonians will see their first property tax rate cut in five years as the city runs up against TABOR imposed by voters a decade ago.
The modest rollback works out to $12.27 a year for the owner of a $200,000 house with a standard homestead exemption.” [roughly $50mm total]
Houston Chronicle – City rev cap to force modest tax rate cut

“Proponents argue that TABOR’s population-plus-inflation formula allows states to maintain public services while keeping spending under control.  In reality, however, the formula does not keep pace with the normal growth in the cost of maintaining services, let alone the need to make new investments or improvements.  Inevitably, TABOR forces large, annual cuts to services that families and businesses rely on and that support state economic prosperity, as Colorado’s experience shows.

Despite its broad coverage of prices, the CPI-U used in the TABOR formula does not track the cost of many factors that affect a person’s well-being – for example, crime, traffic, pollution, the prevalence of disease, the quality of education, and civil liberties. Cost-of-living measures rarely include such factors because few market prices or consumer expenditures are associated with them, making it essentially impossible to define and measure changes in their price or value.


  • Our city is adding roughly 15,000 to 30,000 every year and we need to have the proper city social services to meet this growth
  • Without proper funding the city will not be able to enforce raise the wage ordinances


  • Amend the Texas constitution to let municipalities amend their charters more than once every two years
  • Municipal and state governments could use a public bank to offset archaic ideas like spending caps

Texas Constitution
Code – Texas Constitution
Article – 11 Municipal Corporations
Section – 5 Cities of more than 5,000 population; adoption or amendment of charters; taxes debt restrictions

Houston Business Journal – Houston voters to decide on Proposition 1

Citizens for Accountability – Houston Revenue Cap

Denver Post – CSU study finds 80 percent of Colorado taxpayers pay more because of TABOR

Ad Hoc Charter Review Committee City of Houston Revenue Cap

TML – Revenue Cap Bills Bases on a False Premise

CPPP – How to Reduce Property Taxes, Pros and Cons

TML – Revenue Caps on Cities: The $2.75 Property Tax Cut

Houston Chronicle – City Council trims Houston tax rate to comply with revenue cap

Houston Chronicle – City Council to consider property tax rate cut

Houston Chronicle – Mayoral candidates talk about Houston, Art and Hotel Occupancy Tax

Houston Chronicle – School districts hit tax caps as they borrow for construction

Houston Chronicle – White tries new tack in revenue-cap fight

Houston Chronicle – Debate on city revenue caps kicks off

Estimated $15 TABOR refund in 2017 could keep CDOT from getting $271 million for I-70 viaduct plan

TML – Legislative Policy Committee on Revenue and Finance

Parker among coalition pushing against proposals for revenue caps

CPPP – Lower Revenue Cap = Fewer Local Services

CPPP – Budget Primer

SCOTUS wants another review of Colorado TABOR suit

The Bell Policy Center – TABOR: Ten Years Later

The Bell Policy Center – Making TABOR Work

Charlotte Observer – Colorado shows why TABOR is bad for North Carolina

TABOR: A Taxpayer Bill of Goods?

NCSL – State Tax and Expenditure Limits

TABOR Lives On: How the War on Public Education Becomes Irreversible

TABOR would guarantee a permanent place at the bottom for North Carolina

Problems with NC legislation to cap taxes, reduce spending

U.S. Court of Appeals 10th circuit – Kerr vs Hickenlooper

Colorado State Spending, Referendum C on TABOR (2005)

Ballotpedia – Taxpayer Bill of Rights

Ballotpedia – 70% of Nebraska Votes Against a Revenue Cap

Ballotpedia – 58% of Florida Votes Against a Revenue Cap

Ballotpedia – 55% of Washington State Votes Against Revenue Cap

Ballotpedia – 70% of Oregon Votes Against Revenue Cap

Ballotpedia – 60% of Maine Votes Against a State Wide Revenue Cap

Hidden Consequences: Lessons From Massachusetts for States Considering a Property Tax Cap

EPI – The Colorado revenue limit – The economic effects of TABOR

Florida “TABOR” Proposal SJR 958 Would Endanger Education, Public Safety, and Infrastructure

CBPP – The Same Old TABOR: Maine’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights” Proposal Fails To Fix Flaws of Colorado’s TABOR

CBPP – A TABOR at Heart: South Carolina’s H. 3295 Spending Cap Proposal

CBPP – Hidden Consequences: Lessons From Massachusetts for States Considering a Property Tax Cap

Wikipedia – Proposition 2 1/2 [Massachusetts]

CSU – California’s State and Local Revenue Structure after Proposition 13: Is Denial an Appropriate Way to Cope?

CBPP – Colorado’s TABOR And Ohio’s Proposal Are More Restrictive Than Other Limits

Daily Kos – Ohio Victory: TABOR Shelved

Ohio’s 3.5% cap on budget growth could become a factor


Cleveland State University – A Review of Tax Expenditure Limitations and their Impact on State and Local Government in Ohio

Can Fiscal Rules Constrain the Size of Government An Analysis of the Crown Jewel of Tax and Expenditure Limitations

Mike Foote: TABOR cuts to schools and roads are coming

Impact of a 4 percent Rollback Rate for Texas Counties

St Louis Public Radio: No refunds this year: Missouri again under Hancock Amendment revenue limit

St Louis Post-Dispatch: Hancock Amendment hamstrings small cities’ governments

St Louis Beacon: ‘Simple’ Hancock amendment spawned complex state finances

TABOR triggers small refunds for Colorado taxpayers

University of Florida – Tax and Expenditure Limits Background

Lincoln land institute of policy – Municipally imposed TEL’s

Rural Colorado Fire Departments Could Get Badly Hurt By Budget Cuts

The Colorado Statesman – Crowder on tweaking TABOR: Rural Coloradans would rather have a hospital than a $45 tax refund

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