DENVER (KDVR) — When Colorado brings in more money than it is allowed to spend, it is required to refund that money back to taxpayers in the state under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, but a new law tweaked that allocation to make it even across income brackets.
Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill that amended this year’s TABOR refund, which creates an even amount for every taxpayer instead of a proportional refund and sends that refund out earlier than the spring of 2023 when Coloradans would have seen refunds baked into their state tax return.
So far, more than $1.35 billion in TABOR checks have been redeemed, covering roughly half of the 2.4 million checks that have been sent out.
According to the Final Fiscal Note for SB22-233, the law that evens the refunds out and sends them early, the lowest-earning Coloradans could see an excess of $200 more under Polis’ Colorado Cash Back TABOR tweak.
Coloradans who make between $47,001 to $95,000 saw the smallest change from what would have been refunded under the current law, to the change made from SB 22-233. The highest-earning Coloradans saw the largest change, missing out on nearly $1,000 with the adjustment.
If you’re wondering “Why does the SB 22-233 column show more than the $750 check I’m getting?” you’re not alone.
Because the Colorado Cash Back bill required the Department of Revenue to send the checks out early, the total TABOR calculation for taxpayer refunds hadn’t been finalized, according to Chief Economist with the nonpartisan Colorado Legislative Counsel Greg Sobetski.
Sobetski said the bill essentially puts out 85-87% of the state’s total TABOR refund since it was not clear what the final revenue was going to be for June by the deadline for accelerated refunds. That means taxpayers can expect the rest of the total refund when they file state tax returns in 2023.
Essentially, if you earn up to $47,000, you will receive $750 from this round of TABOR checks but could see $101 in additional money when you receive your state tax return next year. That final amount taxpayers can expect is subject to change, since the State Controller’s Office delivers final numbers on Sept. 1 for total revenue brought in during the previous fiscal year. TABOR refunds could go up or down based on that final report.
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