TABOR Refunds

Why did I receive a TABOR refund check in the mail from Jefferson County?

TABOR requires excess revenue to be refunded to taxpayers. If the total revenue collected by the state or local government exceeds the TABOR limit in any given year (both overall revenue and property tax revenue), then that excess amount must be refunded to taxpayers the following fiscal year. Please consult with your tax advisor regarding the treatment of this payment.

What if I received a check at my residence that is made out to someone else?

The person entitled to the TABOR refund check is the individual or business that owned and paid taxes on the property in 2020. You may have received a check with another name on it if the property was purchased in 2021. If you did receive a check not in your name, please return that check to the Jefferson County Treasurer’s Office who will get the check to the correct party.

  • You can return the check by mailing it back to the Treasurer’s Office at: 100 Jefferson County Parkway, Suite 2520, Golden CO 80419. You can also drop it off at the office. Hours are Monday – Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Why did Jefferson County collect more property tax revenue in 2020 that the TABOR limit allows?

The annual county budget includes the estimated amount of revenue that is anticipated to be collected the following year. However, in some years the actual revenue collected ends up being higher than the TABOR limit allows. 

Is the TABOR refund always made to the taxpayers by check?

The Colorado Constitution allows lawmakers and local officials to determine how to return the money. Examples of different refund methods have included a credit to the following year’s property tax bill, a temporary adjustment to the mill levy, or a refund check. The county applied a temporary adjustment to the mill levy to refund the taxpayers when it was necessary in prior years. This year, the Board of County Commissioners, County Manager and staff believed it is important that each taxpayer receive their proportional fair share when distributing the refund. Mailing the checks directly to property taxpayers allows the county to provide more information about the refund and the county budget. An educational flyer was included with the check that provides a link and QR code to this web page to make it easy to find more information.

Why is the county mailing refund checks?

  • The TABOR Amendment requires governments in Colorado to refund excess revenue collected above the TABOR limit. The Board of County Commissioners, County Manager and staff believed it is important that each taxpayer receive their proportional fair share when distributing the refund. And the county determined that mailing refund checks was the most direct and transparent way for each taxpayer to receive that refund.
  • Mailing the checks directly to property taxpayers also allows us to provide more information about the refund and the county budget. An educational flyer was included with the check that provides a link and QR code to this web page to make it easy to find more information. 

How many checks are being mailed and how much does it cost to send each check?

We are mailing 212,874 check and it’s costing the county approximately 97¢ to mail each check.

What happens if I don't cash the TABOR refund check?

We encourage all taxpayers who received a check to cash it. Any uncashed checks will go through the State of Colorado’s unclaimed property process commonly referred to as the Great Colorado Payback and Jefferson County will not have access to those funds.

Why are the property taxes that Jefferson County brings in not enough to pay for the programs and services needed by the community?

There are several things you need to know:

  • Under TABOR, a county’s growth factors aren’t tied to population like it is at the state level, which means that Jeffco continues to provide services, maintain roads and other infrastructure for an increasingly larger group of people without having the funding to support these increases.
  • For every dollar the county collects from property taxes, only 24 cents remain with the county to provide services. The remaining 76 cents goes to public schools, special districts, and cities.

Why doesn’t the county just keep these refund checks to address its budget challenge?

The county must obtain prior approval from the voters to retain and spend any revenue in excess of TABOR limits. If it does not have voter approval, that excess revenue must be returned to the taxpayers.

Will I receive a refund in future years?

Jefferson County endeavors to collect only the amount of property tax allowable under state statute and will take prompt action to return any over collection to the taxpayers of Jefferson County. However, current estimates indicate that the county will likely have to refund approximately $7 million in excess revenue in 2022.