NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


July 14, 2005

The free-market Americans for Prosperity Foundation released its new "Fiscal Discipline Report Card" that grades states on how well their tax-and-expenditure limits restrain the growth of state government spending and provide relief for their taxpayers.

  • Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights amendment scored the nation's best grade with an A-.
  • Very few states came close to Colorado 's fiscal discipline success, though, with a national median grade a D- and 36 states earning Ds or Fs.

"Colorado is clearly the most successful state in the nation when it comes to safeguarding the taxpayers' money and preventing the uncontrolled and irresponsible levels of government growth that so many states have suffered the past few years," says the study's author, APF distinguished scholar Barry Poulson.

  • Since California Gov. Ronald Reagan proposed the nation's first tax-and-spending limit in 1973, 28 states have enacted some form of the proposal.
  • In the years following the 1992 approval of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights amendment in Colorado, that state's taxpayers have received more than $3 billion in tax refunds and rebates, and the growth of the state budget has been kept under control.
  • Colorado's success with its Taxpayer's Bill of Rights has led approximately 20 other states to consider the idea, and led the Wall Street Journal to declare the movement "America's Next Tax Revolt" in a June 17 editorial.

"As more and more citizens watch their elected representatives blow their hard-earned tax dollars like drunken sailors on shore leave -- only to then pass tax hikes to deal with their resulting hangovers -- the tax-and-spending limit movement is only going to pick up more momentum across the nation," says Poulson.

Source: Barry Poulson, "A Fiscal Discipline Report Card," Americans for Prosperity Foundation, July 12, 2005.


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