NewsCovering Colorado


How the experts are predicting the future of TABOR checks

TABOR refund check
Posted at 6:20 AM, Mar 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 08:23:28-04

COLORADO — The Colorado Legislative Council Staff recently presented a quarterly review to the Joint Committee to discuss Colorado’s current economic state. One topic they talked about; the TABOR checks Coloradans can expect to receive if the state gets back additional funds.

Tax season is upon us and it’s important to note that while you did receive a TABOR check last year if you qualified, you will also be seeing an additional number of TABOR dollars on your state refund this year.

That is because last year the state had seen its biggest TABOR surplus at $3.7 billion. That’s about four times the size of the next largest TABOR surplus Colorado has ever had.

After speaking with Greg Sobetski, the chief economist from the Legislative Council Staff, I’m told you likely will not get as big of a TABOR check from this year as opposed to last year. Here’s what the experts are predicting.

The forecast predicts the state will collect an additional $2.75 billion TABOR surplus.

“We wouldn’t expect revenue that the state collects to keep up with inflation plus population growth…Our current forecast expects that the economy is going to really slow down and that would mean less tax revenue for the state," said Sobetski.

That money will mostly go back on income tax returns for 2023, which will be filed about a year from now.

It is important to note, last year, TABOR checks were sent out early because of legislative action.


You will get between $480 for a single person with a low income to just over $3,000 for a married couple with high incomes.

So, where does your family fall? You can use this calculatorto get an estimated idea.


  • Legislative action could change how the state refunds money 
  • The forecast could be wrong. The state doesn’t know whether actual revenue will be greater or less than the expectation of $2.75 billion.  

THE FUTURE OF TABOR REFUNDS: *It’s a declining trend. Here’s why:

  • The state doesn’t expect revenue to grow as fast as  

Inflation + population growth


1.) The TABOR formula allows the state government to keep more revenue when inflation is high

2.) A recent voter-approved tax cut, dropped our state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.4%, allowing the state to collect less money

The Legislative Council Staff produces a forecast every quarter. The most recent March forecast is a big deal because it is the one the legislature uses to set the budget.


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