Douglas Bruce is the author of Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The general idea behind a TABOR is to increase tax revenue based upon inflation and population increases, unless more significant increases are approved by referendum.
Of course, for such a system to have any chance of success, the taxpayers within the system need to be compliant. The difficult reality is that tax delinquents exist here, there, and everywhere. To combat this, a system should have mechanisms in place that maximize compliance incentives.
Colorado’s TABOR is doomed for now because its chief proponent is a tax delinquent. Earlier today, Douglas Bruce was sentenced to six months in prison followed by six years of strictly supervised economic probation for tax evasion. You can read the indictment against Mr. Bruce here.
In essence, Colorado prosecutors alleged that Bruce failed to report to the state interest income earned on funds he deposited into a bank account in the name of a charity, Active Citizens Together. Despite Bruce claiming the funds constituted a loan to the charity, it really was just his money. The charity was a sham, and the income was attributable to Bruce.
Time will tell whether Bruce decides to test the theory “two wrongs make a right.” He’s halfway there.