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Lawsuit Seeking To Overturn TABOR Faces Federal Ruling On Justiciability

02/15/2012 04:03 pm 16:03:43 | Updated Feb 15, 2012

Even though some advocates fear they haven't much of a case, that hasn't stopped them from trying.

A lawsuit filed in May of 2011 against Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) will appear before a federal judge today. The Denver Post reports the judge will decide if the suit should be dismissed according to the state's assertions the issue can only be settled via popular vote, not through the court.

The suit challenges TABOR's constitutionality on the grounds that rigid tax and spending limits obstruct the General Assembly's ability to govern, instead forwarding that responsibility directly on the people.

Specifically, proponents argue the measure interferes with Colorado's ability to guarantee a "Republican Form of Government" as required by the U.S. Constitution, explains Clear the Bench.

Tim Hoover reported via Twitter that the state's case for dismissal has hit a few road bumps. Judge William Martinez declined to make a decision today:

TABOR, a 1992 state constitutional amendment, was championed by then-state representative Douglas Bruce. The law amended the state constitution to essentially prohibit all levels of government from increasing taxes without voter approval, and required excess revenue be returned to the taxpayers.

As a result, tax revenue has failed to keep pace with increased productivity, leading critics to believe the measure has deeply harmed education funding and public health programs in the state.

After its passing, Bruce told the Associated Press TABOR "was the most important event in Colorado since statehood."

Flickr photo via amerainey

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