From the online version of today’s Post:
…the House of Representatives this morning approved the property-tax freeze as part of the School Finance Act, which now goes to the Senate.
The plan, as tweaked by Ritter and adopted by the House, calls for cutting rates in the 33 highest-rate districts to $27 per $1,000 of taxable property value and locking rates at current levels in 142 other school districts.
Meanwhile, AG Suthers issued a legal opinion on the measure, from the same article:
Republican Attorney General John Suthers weighed in this morning on the governor’s proposal to freeze property taxes as a means of boosting money for schools, arguing that change must be put to voters.
In a letter sent to Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter, Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, D-Jefferson County and House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, Suthers said he concurs with an analysis he asked the Solicitor General to perform that concludes “that the best reading of the Colorado Constitution requires that a revision of this sort, which will have the direct effect of raising the property tax burden of many taxpayers in the state, be submitted to voters for approval.”
That finding is at odds with two other legal reviews.
Ritter’s chief counsel, Thomas Rogers III, has stated that the property-tax freeze is not a tax increase that would require the approval of voters. The Office of Legislative Legal Services has reached a similar conclusion.
In a written statement, Gov. Ritter said Suthers’ “unsolicited and 12th-hour opinion, is flawed, and his timing is suspect.”
He said his plan stands on solid Constitutional ground.
To read excerpts of the opinion from the Office of Legislative Legal Services HERE.
To read the opinion of AG Suthers, click HERE.
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