DENVER (KDVR) — Gov. Jared Polis and Democrats in the legislature passed a law earlier this year to send taxpayer refunds early instead of in spring 2023. But how much will that process cost the state?
According to the expenditures portion of the bill, it will cost the state more than $2.7 million to send out the checks early.
A spokesperson for the Department of Revenue said the total amount generally covers the cost of sending out the checks through mail and standing up a call center with customer support.
When asked how much more expensive this process is, rather than waiting until next spring to send Colorado taxpayers a refund, a spokesperson for the Department of Revenue said, “Any refund mechanism would cost money but we haven’t quantified what costs would have shifted vs. incremental new costs. The dollar amount is inclusive of the cost we would have incurred to provide refunds, but so many factors go into that.”
If you haven’t received your tax refund check by Sept. 30, you can call 303-951-4996. The state has more information on the process for distributing the checks on its website.
These checks are mainly thanks to the Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which basically means Colorado can’t spend more taxpayer money than it generates. Every time the state has a tax surplus and brings in more taxes than it plans to spend, that money is refunded.
The bill sends the money out early, distributes an even amount for every taxpayer instead of a proportional refund and sends that refund out earlier than the spring of 2023.
This is despite Polis and Democrats supporting a 2019 ballot initiative that would have done with TABOR.