Note 12 – Spending Limitations

In November 1992, the Colorado voters passed Section 20, Article X of the Colorado Constitution, commonly known as the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). TABOR contains revenue, spending, tax, and debt limitations that apply to all local governments and the State, including the University.  During the year ended June 30, 2005, the Colorado State Legislature determined in Section 23-5-101.7 of the C.R.S. that an institution of higher education may be designated as an enterprise for the purposes of TABOR so long as the institution’s governing board retains authority to issue revenue bonds on its behalf and the institution receives less than 10 percent of its total annual revenues in grants as defined by TABOR. Further, so long as it is so designated as an enterprise, the institution shall not be subject to any of the provisions of TABOR.

In July 2005, the Regents designated the University as a TABOR enterprise pursuant to the statute. During the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017, the University believes it has met all requirements of TABOR enterprise status. Specifically, the Regents retain the authority to issue revenue bonds and the amount of State grants received by the University was 0.58 percent and 1.36 percent during the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively, as shown in Table 12.

Table 12. TABOR Enterprise State Support Calculation (in thousands)

Local government grants$810793
Capital appropriations3,64333,441
Tobacco Litigation Settlement Appropriation15,65115,325
State COP annual debt service payments for CU Anschutz297,249
State COP annual debt service payments for UCCS1,3391,010
State COP annual debt service payments for CU Boulder5,46222
Total State Support $26,93457,840
Total TABOR enterprise revenues $4,571,1954,251,026
Ratio of State support to total revenues0.59%1.36%

A portion of the University is subject to revenue and expense limitations imposed by the Colorado State Legislature through the annual appropriation process. For the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017, the University’s appropriated funds included $67,612,000 and $64,661,000, respectively, received for students that qualified for stipends from the College Opportunity Fund (COF) and $126,706,000 and $121,872,000, respectively, as fee-for-service contract revenue, as well as certain cash funds as specified in the State’s annual appropriations bill.

Appropriated cash funds include the student-paid portion of tuition, mandatory student fees, and certain other revenue sources, which are recognized in various revenue lines, as appropriate, in the accompanying financial statements. For the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017, expenses were within the appropriated spending authority.

Non-appropriated funds include certain grants and contracts, gifts, indirect cost recoveries, certain auxiliary revenues, in addition to mandatory student fees, and certain other revenue sources. All other revenues and expenses reported by the University represent non-appropriated funds and are excluded from the annual appropriations bill.

© Office of University Controller 2018

This report must be considered in its entirety.