December 14, 2007

Governor's Money Grab Will Go To The Courts

Where it will, no doubt (in this state), receive "scrutiny" but essentially be affirmed.

Still, it's good somebody is standing up for the actual laws that are on the book.

Anti-tax crusader Jon Caldara filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the governor's property-tax plan to prop up school funding.

Caldara says the new law requires a vote of the people. . . .

The lawsuit asks a Denver District Court to strike down the new law, arguing it amounts to a tax policy change and should have gone to the voters as required by the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.

"This bill has to do with respecting the taxpayers and asking them first before the state takes money out their pockets," said Caldara, president of the Independence Institute, a think tank based in Golden.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of six plaintiffs and taxpayers, including the Mesa County Board of Commissioners and Main Street Cafe in Grand Junction and a former Boulder County school board member.

That's an interesting coalition of interests signed on to that lawsuit. When you factor in that the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce is considering signing on to the lawsuit, as well, you might just notice that the Western half of the state is none-too-pleased with the Governor's money-grab.

And it was in Ritter's neutralizing the conservative advantage in the Western half of the state that he gained his margin of victory, picked up a Congressman, and solidified the Dems' hold on the state legislature.

If the West is angry enough at him to remember when the next election comes around, it could make things very intersting at the State House.

In the meantime, this lawsuit--which seems to meet muster on points of standing and law--could end up twistingthe Dems into knots. A plain-text reading of TABOR clearly stipulates that this large a boon for the treasury requires the people's approval; so, in one fell swoop, it may be that the Dems are spotlighted on both their money-grabbing ways AND on their goofiness in judicial appointees.

One can always hope.

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