For almost three decades, TABOR has been a godsend for Colorado taxpayers.
2:55 AM MST on Jan 24, 2021
Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights is under attack once again, this time by the very politicians whose actions TABOR is intended to check.
A lawsuit filed by state legislators and some local elected officials has been wending its way through the federal courts since 2011. They seek to overturn the voter-enacted TABOR amendment to the Colorado constitution, which requires voter approval before state and local legislative bodies can impose or raise taxes.
The lawmakers’ case rests on the dubious idea that by denying legislators a free hand on matters of taxing and spending, TABOR denies Coloradans a republican form of government, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The case will now be heard by the entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, although it seems likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually get the final word.
It’s a complicated case involving questions of standing — who has the right to bring a case to court — and whether constitutional guarantees of a republican form of government include the actions of political subdivisions such as school boards.
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