TABOR - The real story, in video.

Chuck Sheketoff

Grover Norquist considers Colorado's constitutional spending limit "the holy grail."

At the Oregon Center for Public Policy, when we're asked about the Colorado-style spending limit proposal that Dick Armey's FreedomWorks, Don McIntire, and Grover Norquist are hawking through Oregon's initiative system, we've cautioned Oregonians that under the so-called "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" Colorado has become a pothole of civic neglect.

We've posted a short (approx. 13 minutes) video, The Real Story Behind TABOR, that all policymakers - legislators, and voters facing an initiative - should consider before voting to place a Colorado-like spending limit in Oregon's Constitution.

In 1989 the Oregon Legislature enacted a true "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" (see ORS 305.900).

If the proponents of this latest constitutional gimmick persist in calling it TABOR, maybe we should call it Tax Avoiders Blocking Overdue Reform. It is certainly more fitting. Nothing in the FreedomWorks/Norquist/McIntire plan creates meaningful rights for taxpayers that they don't already have. In fact, just the opposite happens. The proposal undermines the ability of state government to meet the priorities of taxpayers - one of taxpayers' most basic rights in a democracy.

Check out The Real Story Behind TABOR.

Ocpp_final_1 Chuck Sheketoff is the executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy.   You can sign up to receive email notification of OCPP materials at</p

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    I really don't think the best way to attack this initiative is to call it TABOR (or the expansion). That just affirms its proponents' frame. Steve Novick called it the "Colorado Straitjacket" at the Oregon Summit. Even if that's not the best tag, it is better than TABOR. This is like Lesson One of framing.

  • blue (unverified)

    For what it's worth, backlash against TABOR is the #1 reason why the Democrats took control of both houses of the legislature in Colorado in 2004. Coors-funded think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and Republican politicians like Governor Bill Owens have championed TABOR since the early 1990's. It wrecked the state in all of the ways described in Chuck Sheketoff's video, and more. Voters didn't trust Republicans to fix it in the legislature and kicked them out of office, including several in heavily Republican districts.

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