Coloradans who have filed their 2021 taxes should soon be seeing $750-per-person tax rebate checks in the mail.
The money comes from taxes collected by the state that goes over the cap set by the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR. That provision of the state Constitution requires taxes collected over a cap determined by inflation and population be rebated to taxpayers. State economists estimated that the state collected more than $3.5 billion over the cap in the fiscal year that ended in June — the largest ever.
How to qualify for “Colorado Cash Back” TABOR refund checks
Colorado residents who filed their state taxes by June 30 will receive their checks by the end of August. At a Wednesday press conference, Gov. Jared Polis estimated the “vast majority” of Coloradans will get by the end of next week or the week after.
People who file their state tax returns by Oct. 17 will receive their rebate checks in January.
The rebate comes out to $750 per individual tax filer or $1,500 for people who file their taxes jointly. Officials estimate 1% to 2% of the about 2.4 million rebates will be intercepted either partially or fully due to back taxes or owing on things like child support.
In order to receive the checks, residents must file a state income return for 2021 — even if they don’t have any taxable income to report — or applied for a property tax/rent/heat credit rebate by June 30. In order to qualify, a person must have been a full-year resident of Colorado for 2021 and at least 18 years old on Dec. 31, 2021.
Residents with questions about eligibility can visit www.ColoradoCashBack.com or call 303-951-4996 for more information.
These are TABOR refunds, not stimulus checks. But that doesn’t mean they’re politics-free
While this money would have come back to taxpayers one way or another, Colorado Democrats are taking credit for getting it out sooner and in a more equitable fashion.
“Does anybody want the government sitting on your money for 10 months?” Polis asked at a news conference Wednesday. “I don’t think anybody wants that. So let’s get it back to you, now, when you need it.”
Polis was joined by three of the state lawmakers who sponsored SB22-233 to make this rebate happen: Reps. Lindsey Daugherty and Tony Exum, respectively of Arvada and Colorado Springs, and Sen. Nick Hinrichsen of Pueblo, all Democrats.
Exum is seeking a state senate seat this November while Hinrichsen is seeking election to his after being appointed to it following a vacancy. Each faces tight races in what could be a tough year for Democrats after years of trifecta-control over each legislative chamber and the governor’s office. Polis is also up for re-election. A note from him is expected to be in the letter that has the rebate checks.
“A lot of people have been asking me questions about TABOR and what it means, and they just want us to show them the money,” Exum said. “They don’t really care about the mechanisms and whatnot, they just want to see the checks, so that’s what we’re doing here.”
The state Republican Party, meanwhile, accused Democrats of “straight up lying to voters” and using checks from a constitutional provision they’ve criticized “to buy your vote.” Instead, the state GOP suggested Coloradans donate their rebates to Republican candidates.
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