COLORADO: Proposed bill ladles gravy on public pension retirees.

Bill numbers haven’t been assigned yet, so the prospective legislation is known only as Bill A, but the details have been released. At an estimated cost of $220 million per year to Colorado taxpayers, all retired members of state and local public pensions that file Colorado tax return will get a $700 tax credit in both fiscal years 2023 and 2024. The original bill would have increased the tax deduction to create a similar benefit, but the authors ended up opting for a tax credit to get the checks out immediately.

I serve as an appointee on the legislative oversight subcommittee for Colorado’s public pension system, or PERA, which in turn reports to the Pension Review Commission. At a recent subcommittee meeting, some sort of tax break for PERA retirees was mentioned as a possibility, but there was no concrete shape to the plan, and no formal proposal. There was some skepticism of the idea of a special tax break for government retirees even among Democrat committee appointees.

Unfortunately, since the bill was moved directly to the Pension Review Commission, the subcommittee – whose entire purpose is to provide outside expert oversight of PERA and input into the legislative process affecting it – never got to review, or even discuss the question.

An inflationary giveaway to a favored government group, paid for with tax dollars, enacted outside the normal legislative process, done in the name of fighting inflation?

This is what happens when you let your state go Blue.