February 16, 2008

Arrogant Ritter and Democrats Set to Spend Your Money Before Courts Rule

The Denver Post reports that legislative Democrats killed a bill that would have set up a rainy day fund from the dollars generated by Gov. Bill Ritter's legally challenged property tax hike:
Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Greeley, said the state needs to set aside the money in case it loses a lawsuit backed by a conservative group that argues the freeze is unconstitutional.

"If that happens, local school districts will probably have to repay the taxpayers for money the state collected on their behalf," Renfroe said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing. "And they don't have that money. Which means the state is going to have to help them do that."

Ritter pushed a plan through the legislature last year that kept mill levies — the rate at which businesses and homeowners are assessed property tax — from falling when property values rose, as they normally would have under state law.

Initial estimates were that the freeze would generate $1.74 billion, but the latest figures put the amount at nearly double, $3.8 billion.

Ritter has said the additional money should be used to fund preschool and full-day kindergarten programs.

"We're moving ahead," said Evan Dreyer, the governor's spokesman. "We're confident that we will prevail in court if the lawsuit proceeds."

A group of taxpayers, organized by the conservative Independence Institute, filed suit in December, claiming the freeze violated state law requiring voters to approve tax increases. [emphasis added]
A little arrogant? Ritter raises your property taxes without asking your permission first, gets called on it - then when a proposal is introduced to set the money aside until the courts can clarify whether the move was constitutional, the Governor and his buddies shoot it down.

Clearly Ritter and Colorado Democrats believe your money belongs to them. They may also believe the Democrat-friendly Colorado Supreme Court will ignore the constitution and bail them out:
[Legal analyst Jason] Dunn believes the plaintiffs’ case is strong, but believes the results are less certain if the case reaches the state’s highest judicial body.

“The Supreme Court has shown great distaste for TABOR,” he said. “It’s hard to predict what will happen at that level.”
It's sure easy for Ritter and Company to be cocky, as long as they think not enough Coloradans are paying attention. When people do wake up to what's happening, it will not be pretty for the current Democratic administration.

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