Episode 819: Tax Me If You Can : Planet Money Douglas Bruce had a bold vision for Colorado.
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Episode 819: Tax Me If You Can

Jay Koelzer
Douglas Bruce celebrates voters' approval of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights Nov. 3, 1992
Jay Koelzer

In 1992, Douglas Bruce proposed a measure called the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, TABOR for short. TABOR was effectively a tax-limitation measure that said, whenever a government wanted more money — whenever it wanted to increase taxes — it had to put the question on the ballot. Increased taxes for roads? The voters would get to decide. Better schools? Put it on the ballot. But put the price there first.

The proposal passed. And there were a lot of other things in it, too. And today, because of Douglas Bruce's amendment, Colorado is the only state where politicians don't have the power to raise taxes under any circumstances.

They say you can't fight city hall, that one person can't make a difference. But today on the show, we'll tell you the story of how one man did. And what happened to his state. And what happened to him.

This show was adapted from Colorado Public Radio's Taxman series.

Music by Ramtin Arablouei. Find us: Twitter/ Facebook / Instagram Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts and NPR One.