An Assessment of the New Zealand Taxpayer Rights Bill in Light of Colorado's Experience
56 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2011
Date Written: April 10, 2011
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (known as “TABOR”) was a 1992 amendment to the Constitution of the US state of Colorado. Adopted by referendum, TABOR restricts growth in Colorado state government spending and revenues to the sum of population growth plus inflation. TABOR’s key benefit was said to be that it would increase economic growth. Perhaps for this reason, the OECD, 2025 Taskforce, and New Zealand Business Roundtable have suggested that New Zealand consider importing a version of TABOR, and the current Government has agreed to consider this idea at select committee. This article analyses whether New Zealand should adopt the NZTRB by evaluating TABOR’s impact on Colorado, taking into account both differences between TABOR and the NZTRB as drafted, and differences between New Zealand and Colorado’s legal and fiscal frameworks. The NZTRB would likely have significant impacts on New Zealand’s constitution, government size and composition, and fiscal framework. There is no prior academic work analyzing the NZTRB.
Keywords: TABOR, New Zealand Taxpayer Rights Bill, Tax and Expenditure Limitation, TEL, Taxpayer Bill of Rights, spending cap, fiscal rule, budget framework, fiscal constitution
JEL Classification: H1, H2, H5, H6, H7
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation