2015 TABOR Surplus

What is TABOR?


The Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) is part of the Colorado Constitution (Article X). It has a provision that imposes revenue restrictions on state and local governments. Voters may lift this provision and have done so in more than 87 percent of municipalities in Colorado. 

These revenue restrictions remain in place in Castle Rock. When revenues exceed TABOR limits in any given year, the Town has two choices:

  1. Refund the money in some manner
  2. Ask voters to keep and spend the money on local services (up to a year retroactively)

2015 TABOR surplus


The Town ended 2015 with a $714,580 TABOR surplus. Various factors contributed to the surplus, including strong sales tax growth and contributions for the construction of the North Meadows Extension and Philip S. Miller Park

As a result, Town Council had to decide whether to:
  • Ask voters to lift TABOR revenue restrictions and allow the Town to retain the more than $700,000 from 2015 or
  • Issue refunds back to taxpayers
Per Ordinance 2016-020, the following question will appear on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot:

SHALL THE TOWN OF CASTLE ROCK BE PERMITTED TO RETAIN AND EXPEND UP TO $714,580 OF EXCESS 2015 REVENUE FOR POLICE, FIRE, EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES, AND TRANSPORTATION PURPOSES AS A VOTER APPROVED REVENUE CHANGE UNDER ARTICLE X, SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION (TABOR)?

YES/FOR __
NO/AGAINST __

If a majority of voters say yes to the question, the Town will retain and expend the funds as approved. If a majority of voters say no to the question, the resolution of the surplus will default to a refund, which is the other option under TABOR.

Town Council, through Ordinance 2016-021, decided that the refund will be accomplished through a one-time utility bill credit to all residential Castle Rock Water customers who are active in the water billing system as of the December 2016 billing date who were also active customers as of Dec. 31, 2015.

The Town anticipates the number of recipient accounts being about 16,500, meaning each residential account would be credited about $43 if voters reject the ballot question, triggering the refund.

Public input

Thank you to the numerous residents who provided feedback for Town Council on this topic during May and June. View the feedback Council received.

Comments for and against the TABOR ballot question may be submitted to the Town Clerk for inclusion in a ballot issue notice that will be mailed to registered voters prior to the election. To be included in the notice, comments must be submitted by a registered voter eligible to vote on the issue.

Comments must total fewer than 500 words; if multiple comments are received, the Town Clerk will summarize them.

Comments must be received by the clerk no later than 5 p.m. Sept. 23 and must include the address and signature of the submitter.

Comments may be delivered to 100 N. Wilcox St. or emailed to the Town Clerk.

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