On Monday, June 14, the Colorado Supreme Court declined to consider the appeal of case brought by the TABOR Foundation, et. al. to stop the blatantly unconstitutional Hospital Provider tax and program. That means the ruling of the lower Court of Appeals is the final say.
The original filing in June 2015 addressed the issue that the new bed tax was required to have voter approval under TABOR, but that the legislature had violated the citizen right. Then in a related development, in 2017 state senator Jerry Sonnenberg revived the dormant senate bill 267 in the last few days of the session, enacting a host of terrible new laws, violating the single-subject rule and among many other bad ideas, opening $400 million/year in new taxation and spending without a TABOR vote. Our case was amended (twice) to incorporate that abomination and we added many items to our request for remedy.
The trial court judge sat on the case for two years, not even scheduling a hearing. Then he ruled against the citizens. We appealed his decision. The appeals panel found that no one had standing to sue, so prohibited the case from moving forward on the merits. “It was as if the judges did not bother to read the written arguments or to care about the substance of the amended lawsuit,” said TABOR Committee chairman Penn Pfiffner. “Their decision ignored all issues brought forward except for the imposition of the bed tax. It was so insufficient, so lacking, as to be amateurish. Unfortunately, the Colorado Supreme Court went along with the foolishness.”
Beyond adding up $400 million each year in new taxation and spending without the required vote of the people, it put the State into debt by $2 billion, which should also have required separate voter approval. Imagine – taxpayers spend $400 million more each year and they don’t have standing! The Court appears to have dropped any attempt to be true to the constitution and to respect that citizens are (supposed to be) in charge of their governments.