Lawsuit Threat

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The man who wrote the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights is threatening to file a lawsuit if voters approve a proposed budget fix that would change the 1992 amendment.

Douglas Bruce says his lawsuit would seek to overturn Referendum C. Bruce says the referendum would unconstitutionally change a provision of TABOR that requires voter approval to change the formula setting tax limits.

Referendum C asks voters to give up more than three (b) billion dollars in tax surplus refund checks over the next five years and raise the maximum amount the state is allowed to use in the tax-limit formula, essentially allowing higher limits than TABOR would allow.

Bruce says supporters of Referendum C made a mistake by asking voters to change state laws rather than the state Constitution, because a law can't change provisions of the Constitution.

Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon says lawmakers were aware of the possible legal challenge when they drafted the ballot measure. He says local communities have received voter approval for similar ballot measures allowing them to keep tax surplus dollars and it has never been challenged.