Apr 26, 2022 - News

Why Colorado taxpayers are getting a $400 advance this summer

Illustration of a pattern of stacks of money.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Colorado Democratic leaders announced plans on Monday to fast-track the timeline for residents to receive sales tax rebates as part of refunds required by the voter-approved Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.

What's happenings: The checks are expected to arrive this summer instead of next spring, with single filers receiving $400 and couples allotted $800.

Context: TABOR is a constitutional amendment that forces the state to give back any tax revenue over the percentage growth in population plus inflation cap.

  • The forthcoming refunds represent about $1.4 billion of the projected $2 billion surplus, per the Department of Revenue.

What they're saying: "Instead of the government sitting on money that Coloradans earned, we want to give everyone cash back as quickly and easily as possible to provide immediate relief and empower people to do what they want to with their money," Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement Monday.

Reality check: The move by state Democrats comes in an election year, with dollars funneling into voters' bank accounts by Sept. 15 — right before the November race.

  • With inflation and sky-high costs of living setting the tone for the election, the Democratic governor and Legislature are doing what they can to show they're focused on affordability.

The other side: The GOP was quick to criticize Democrats for touting TABOR, despite attempts to chip away at the amendment for its restrictions on government growth.

  • "For years, these same Democrats have worked to undermine TABOR and fought to increase fees and taxes on everyday Coloradans," Colorado GOP chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown said in a statement. "However, I'm pleased to see their apparent change of heart, even if it is clearly just an election-year game."
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