TABOR Committee letter to city of Loveland urges care with DDA bonds
Letter sent via a lawyer says language in ballot question ‘ambiguous’
Through an attorney, the TABOR Committee delivered a message to the city of Loveland last week reminding the city to tread carefully when issuing bonds for the city’s Downtown Development Authority.
The letter’s stated concerns relate to the anticipated bond issuances greenlit in November via a ballot issue.
The TABOR Committee, which was the original vehicle for getting the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights passed in 1992, is an organization whose mission is to defend the statewide law. It is the advocacy side of TABOR defense, while its affiliate the TABOR Foundation is an educational organization.
The letter was sent by Michael Mulvania through Denver-based law firm Mulvania Law, LLC. It is “non-threatening,” according to City Attorney Moses Garcia, though it serves as an important reminder that the city could be at risk of violating TABOR if it were to finance repayment of debt taken for the DDA through any means other than the fund specially designated for the purpose.
Ballot issue 5C, which appeared on the November 2017 election ballot for Lovelanders living within the DDA boundaries, asked voters to grant the city permission to borrow up to $61 million for DDA infrastructure projects. Final election results showed 58.68 percent of voters in favor of the issue.
The ballot question states the debt will be “payable from and secured by a pledge of the special fund of the city which shall contain tax increment revenues levied and collected within the boundaries of the authority.”
This statement is almost word-for-word a reflection of the section of the Colorado Revised Statutes Title 31 dedicated to codifying the issuance of bonds by an authority.