The key features of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) include:
- a limit on the annual growth rate of the state budget (based upon the average sum of population plus inflation growth over the previous three calendar years),
- requiring a 2/3 vote of the General Assembly to exceed the expenditure limit,
- renaming the state’s current Savings Reserve Account as the Emergency Reserve Trust Fund (and requiring a 2/3 vote of the GA to authorize expenditures from the fund),
- establishing a goal for the Reserve account of 5% of the prior year’s General Fund appropriation,
- returning extra revenue to taxpayers,
- and using the most recent calendar year’s revenue collections as the revenue estimate for crafting the annual state budget (instead of relying upon revenue predictions).
This bill is the same as HB 188, which was introduced in 2011. I wrote on the benefits of the legislation here. I’ve also written about the need for a Taxpayer Bill of Rights for North Carolina here and here.
Opposition will predictably trot out their fear-mongering tactics, and their go-to play on this issue will be to attempt to scare legislators with false and misleading claims about Colorado’s experience with a TABOR. Two years ago, I thoroughly debunked the left’s completely false narrative in this article.
Lastly, a TABOR is very popular among North Carolinians. Voters overwhelmingly favor a TABOR for North Carolina, by a margin of 67% to 18%.