Measuring the Impacts of Tax and Expenditure Limits on Public School Finance in Colorado
Phyllis Resnick, Charles Brown, and Deborah Godshall
This research explores the effect of tax and expenditure limitations, especially the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), on school finance in Colorado. It quantifies the distributional and equity effects of property tax burdens on the median household in each of Colorado’s school districts. Through regression analysis and descriptive statistics we find that property taxes have become more unequal and less progressive as a result of TABOR induced distortions in school finance. Through a simulation we find that just over 80 percent of Colorado taxpayers are paying more in school property tax because of TABOR-caused drastic mill levy reductions in certain districts.