2021 TABOR Refund

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Background

Based on the formula in Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) laws, the City collected revenue in 2021 above the TABOR limits, or TABOR cap.  Voters approved Issue 2D in the November 2021 election to allow the City to retain $20 million of the revenue over the cap to be spent on City-wide and Pikes Peak region wildfire mitigation and prevention efforts. Approximately $15 million of revenue, above the $20 million to be retained, will be refunded.

Refund Process & Timing

The City of Colorado Springs has requested that Colorado Springs Utilities, an enterprise of the City, use its billing system to process the TABOR refund of approximately $15 million.

Active Colorado Springs Utilities electric customer accounts inside Colorado Springs city limits* will receive the refund in two payments, one on their March (March 4 – 31) and the second on their May (May 2 – 31) bills.

The estimated total refund for both months will be $68 per eligible account (approximately $35 in March and $33 in May).

*Check if your property is located within City limits by entering your address into the Colorado Springs sales tax address lookup map.

FAQ

Why am I receiving a refund?

Based on the formula in TABOR laws, the City collected revenue in 2021 in excess of the TABOR limits (TABOR cap).  Voters approved Issue 2D in the November 2021 election to allow the City to retain $20 million of the revenue over the cap to be spent on City-wide and Pikes Peak region wildfire mitigation and prevention efforts. There is additional revenue, above the $20 million to be retained, of approximately $15 million that will be refunded via the Colorado Springs Utilities billing system.  The refund will be processed according to past practices. A refund implementation team comprised of Colorado Springs Utilities staff and the City Finance was formed to ensure the efficient and effective processing of the refund.

Who receives the refund?

Refunds will be applied to bills for those customers inside Colorado Springs city limits that have active electric service. Check if your property is located within City limits by entering your address into the Colorado Springs sales tax address lookup map.

Who will not receive a refund?

Those customers designated as tax-exempt status listed as a charity, government entity or non-profit will not receive a refund, as they are exempt from paying taxes.

When do I receive my refund?

The refunds will appear on the customer bills in March and May, 2022.

How much is my refund?

The estimated total refund for both months will be $68 per eligible account (approximately $35 in March and $33 in May)

Can I receive a check instead of credit on my bill?

No. Processing the refund via the utilities bill is the most cost-effective method. We will not issue a check for this refund.

Why is Colorado Springs Utilities processing the refund and not the city?

According to TABOR, the City is required to refund the money in the 2022 calendar year. The City has processed refunds through Colorado Springs Utilities in the past including the refunds issued in 2017, 2009 and 2001.

Why did I receive more than one refund?

Refunds were given based on electric service agreements; therefore, if a customer has more than one electric service agreement (either at one property or multiple properties) they will receive a refund for each of their electric service agreements.

Why didn’t I receive a refund when I own the property?

Colorado Springs Utilities will issue the refund to active Colorado Springs Utilities electric customers only, even if the account holder is not the property owner.

I am a Colorado Springs Utilities customer and live outside of City of Colorado Springs limits. Why didn't I receive a refund?

The refunds that are being issued on the CSU electric accounts do not have to do with CSU revenue or budget – the refund is due to the City of Colorado Springs revenue that exceeded the TABOR limit.  The TABOR excess revenue are from funds that have been collected within the city limits of the City of Colorado Springs, so the refund is going out to those who live within the city limits of the City of Colorado Springs. The CSU bills are simply the mechanism being used to distribute the refund. 

Check if your property is located within City limits by entering your address into the Colorado Springs sales tax address lookup map.