Episode 819: Tax Me If You Can

In 1992, Douglas Bruce proposed a measure called the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, TABOR for short. TABOR was effectively a tax-limitation measure that said, whenever a government wanted more money — whenever it wanted to increase taxes — it had to put the question on the ballot. Increased taxes for roads? The voters would get to decide. Better schools? Put it on the ballot. But put the price there first.

The proposal passed. And there were a lot of other things in it, too. And today, because of Douglas Bruce’s amendment, Colorado is the only state where politicians don’t have the power to raise taxes under any circumstances.

They say you can’t fight city hall, that one person can’t make a difference. But today on the show, we’ll tell you the story of how one man did. And what happened to his state. And what happened to him.

Most U.S. States Aren’t Prepared For the Next Recession

Just 16 states have adequate backup money on hand, according to a new Moody’s Analytics analysis

If the next recession hit the U.S. this year, more than a quarter of states would be financially unprepared to weather even a moderate downturn, according to a new report.

Fifteen states would struggle in the case of a recession-related tax revenue slump and spike in demand for services, such as Medicaid. They are more than 5 percentage points below the share of funds left in their budgets they would need to tap, according to a new Moody’s Analytics analysis. Another 19 states narrowly fall short.

Just 16 states have adequate backup money on hand, with Alaska having almost three times as much as the state would need to keep its economy buoyant.

 

STATE
EXTRA CASH ON HAND
NECESSARY BACKUP FUNDS
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXTRA CASH AND NECESSARY BACK-UP FUNDS
Louisiana 3.10% 27.20% -24.00%
North Dakota 0.70% 20.10% -19.40%
Oklahoma 4.00% 16.00% -12.10%
New Mexico -1.10% 10.00% -11.10%
Illinois 0.40% 11.10% -10.70%
Colorado 5.30% 15.10% -9.80%
New Jersey 1.40% 11.00% -9.60%
Pennsylvania -1.80% 6.90% -8.80%
Missouri 5.40% 13.80% -8.40%
Kansas 1.60% 9.20% -7.60%