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December 14, 2007 09:53 AM UTC

Jon Caldara Organizes Suit Against Colorado. Colorado Groans Collectively.

  • 21 Comments
  • by: rennes

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

On Thursday, Independence Institute President Jon Caldara announced that a lawsuit had been filed in Denver County against the Colorado Department of Education. The plaintiffs, who include the Mesa County Commissioners and sundry folks from around the state, allege that the Mill Levy Freeze provision of the 2007 School Finance Act is unconstitutional. They claim that the freeze creates more revenue for the state, and so it should have gone to the voters per TABOR.

Legal opinions from 2004 and 2007 maintain that the freeze is legit. Interesting to note is that the first round of legal opinions were requested by Republican Senator Norma Anderson, who sponsored the same measure in 2004 (although don’t remind the current batch of GOP legislators of that annoying detail).

You decide – is the state following neither the letter nor spirit of the law, or are Caldara & Friends wasting our time and tax dollars?  

Will the suit succeed or fail?

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21 thoughts on “Jon Caldara Organizes Suit Against Colorado. Colorado Groans Collectively.

  1. …Caldera needing some red meat to throw to the II funders to keep his paycheck going.

    As to the legality of the measure? I’ll leave that to the courts although the odds are not good based on the previous legal opinions.

    1. Like every other failed campaign/ political stunt Caldara has initiated, this too will go down in flames, but at a very expensive costs to taxpayers. Which the money used to defend our schools from Caldara could be used for our schools! It’s not only a complete waste of time, but also money. He’s looking out for his own interests, not Coloradans.

      Can anyone think of one good thing Caldara has done for this state?  

      1. He has wasted a ton of wingnut money where, if they had invested it with a competent group, we might still have the Repubs running the state (note: that would be bad).

        So I am a big supporter of Caldera and the II – because without that the Repubs might win more elections here.

      2. Isn’t it reasonable to allow the voters to determine the plausibility of a tax sunset extension?  The Governor’s strategy to continue a mill levy level may have merit, but falls short of verifying if it is sound fiscal policy.

        Let the people decide…

        1. for a Democratic Legislature and a Democratic Governor to end the fiscal insanity that had occurred under Bill Owens and the Republicans.

          They also voted on the local level when 175 out of 178 school disctricts voted to De-Bruce!

          How many more times must they scream for change before Cons like Caldara get the message?

          1. It is hard to disagree with your point of view, however, I become very uncomfortable with – strike 1, mill levy freeze, and stike 2 union executive order.

            I don’t take Caldera very serious, he seems to like the spot light for all the wrong reasons.  Plus, we went to the same high school and I have his freshman yearbook picture!  …you never know how a person is going to turn out.

            1. Caldara seeks to destroy the very institutions that he benefited from (or at least attended with taxpayers money).

              I can’t see how the actual policies put forward by the Governor, to help out education and make government more efficient, are strikes.

              Ritter and the Dems are taking a lot of heat from the Cons because they needed “red-meat” issues to attack them to run their campaigns, but instead of going of working on the red-meat issues (educaiton, health care, transportation) the Cons give us red-herrings.

              Perhpas I fail to see how anything the Cons are doing politically right now, benefits this state in any meaningful way.

              1. It’s hard to pass up red meat when it is served to you on a plate.

                My original comment to you was simple, how do you justify not taking an apparent tax increase to the people of the state of Colorado?  TABOR is “the will of the people.”

                1. it’s not a tax increase. According to Legal Services, not only in this case but also in 2004 when Republicans looked at and supported this very same measure. And common sense should also say, yeah this isn’t an increase. I’m paying the same amount as the year before… no increase.

                  Hypotheticals, as being pitched by Caldara of “what could have been” is not going to hold standing in the court. This lawsuit is going to cost the tapayers of this state MILLIONS of dollars, and is a huge waste time like the rest of Caldara’s political posturing and grand standing.

                  He claims to defend taxpayers but he’s screwing this taxpayers with this lawsuit. When he loses, can we charge Caldara and his funders the state’s attorney’s fees?

                  1. People aren’t saying “I’m paying the same,” because they won’t pay the same. They will pay more dollars in property taxes, based on the valuation of their homes. Ritter is freezing the tax rate on an appreciating asset, thereby increasing the amount of tax paid.

                    1. And probably according to D. Bruce’s best dreams, every single year we’d have to go back to the taxpayer and say “We have more people, and prices have gone up; we’re getting more taxes and need to spend more money to pay for the same things – can we do that?”  Fortunately, these most insane babblings of the anti-government Right wouldn’t have passed muster even with our generally Libertarian population and we at least have some manner of incremental tracking, even if it is dysfunctional.

                    2. Will anyone pay more dollars in property taxes than the previous year? NO. It’s only an increase by an extreme (far right extreme) stretch of the imagination.

                    3. If no one is going to pay more money, then just where do you suppose the influx of funds are coming from?

  2. Mesa County Sheep Protector and failed Lt. Governor candidate–Janet Rowland, together with Craig ‘Conflict-of-Interest’ Meis voted to spend Mesa Co taxpayer dollars on joining with Litigious Jonni and his merry band of mischief-makers.  

    These same commissars recently poo-pooed open space and said that protecting any is a ‘waste of taxpayer dollars.’  Glad to see they are so on the ball and doin’ that wingnut dance.  

  3. Referendum C might have actually failed had he kept his mouth shut. Every one of his major efforts in the past 6-8 years has failed spectacularly. If history is any indication, this should be an easy victory for Ritter.

  4. Caldera is suing based on a faulty premise – that since TABOR requires a vote for any policy that results in an increase in revenues, that the tax freeze needed to go to a vote because it resulted in an increase in revenues.

    What he misses is that the tax freeze only applies to school districts which have already de-bruced.  The language of the debrucing question allows revenues to go up for school districts.

    It’s not a question of whether or not it needs to go to a vote. It already did.

    The result of the ever ratcheting down local property tax is, the portion of K-12 education funding that comes from the state has been increasing every year while the portion from local revenues has been decreasing every year.  Opponents of A23 like to blame the budget pressures created from having to fund K-12 on A23.  But it’s really this trend of decreasing local revenues that are driving the dramatic increases in state funding.

    Ritter and the Legislature had the balls to fix it, even though they knew they’d get skewered politically for it.

    Good for them.

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