State government spending has risen by more than 90% in the past 40 years. These unsustainable increases in spending need well-designed fiscal rules.


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What if your state had enacted a Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights? Explore our tool that shows the value of this essential policy for constraining the growth of state budgets.

The problem

State and local spending has grown by nearly 90% over the past 40 years.

These spending levels – and the higher tax burdens that support them – are unsustainable.

The solution

Most state governments would better serve their citizens if they were constrained by well-designed fiscal rules.

Fiscal rules are formal restraints on spending levels or growth. They must be designed to be effective, sustainable, and not undermine appropriate responses to genuine emergencies.

At the state level, Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) is considered the gold standard of fiscal rules. A citizen initiative adopted by voters in 1992, TABOR limits the growth of most state revenue to inflation plus population.