Our view

Oct 202003
Authors: Collegian Editorial Staff


Shandra Jordan – editor in chief

Patrick Crossland – state and regional editor

J.J. Babb – design managing editor

For many people, the word “TABOR” makes them want to run away

screaming in the opposite direction. But that’s a big part of the

problem. This Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights has many problems for

higher education and other industries that people simply don’t or

don’t want to see.

TABOR basically deals with a spending cap on the General Fund,

which provides money for a variety of Colorado industries and

institutions, including K-12 schools, Medicaid, correctional

facilities, higher education and more. The difference between K-12,

Medicaid and correctional facilities and higher education is the

former three are all constitutionally (in Colorado that is)

mandated expenditures, while higher education has no such


Further, higher education is virtually forbidden from providing

for itself because TABOR classifies tuition increases as state

revenue and thus tuition cannot be increased under TABOR.

Inevitably, the question is: why? Why isn’t higher education

valued enough to be protected with a constitutional mandate to

guarantee it enough money? And if the state doesn’t want a

mandatory protection, why can’t our university administrators be

trusted enough to responsibly raise tuition? Sure, nobody wants to

pay more, but wouldn’t it be better than spending another year (or

more) in college because the university doesn’t have enough money

to offer enough sections of your capstone?

The sad fact is the General Fund makes up 85 percent of our

budget. There’s no need to point out that that’s no small number.

Such a great proportion of our budget can’t be made up through

donations and grants, unless Bill Gates is looking to invest in a

land-grant university. And even if he does, what about the

University of Colorado-Boulder? Sure, we like to beat them at the

game, but when it comes down to it, all people who have chosen the

path of higher education need to be given the best shot they can at

it. The ability to go to college isn’t given everywhere, and the

state should recognize that higher education is a valued, important

system. It we let it fall apart, all the best students will move

out of state after high school and our industries will begin to

lack people with the proper training.

The moral is, this isn’t something you can sit back, whine about

and then go back to reruns of “Friends.” The only way TABOR can be

changed is through the voters, and it’s going to have to start

somewhere. How about you?


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