Sales Tax Extension Overturned

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Colorado Springs officials say they'll appeal a court ruling halting the extension of a sales tax for open space.

Voters approved extending the tax by a two-to-one margin last year, but the author of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights appealed. Douglas Bruce called the extension a "tax increase," saying the city failed to advertise it and hold public hearings as required by the bill, known as TABOR. A judge agreed and overturned the election results.

The open space tax was set to expire in 2009. TABOR requires public votes on taxes, and limits the amount of money government can collect and spend.

Bruce says Colorado Springs city attorney Patricia Kelly and city clerk Kathryn Young should resign because of how they handled the extension.

TABOR is a constitutional amendment written by Bruce and approved by voters in 1992. City officials had expected to take in an additional $200 million with the tax extension.

Senior City Attorney Steve Hook says TABOR doesn't list tax extensions as "tax increases." And Vice Mayor Richard Skorman
says Bruce is being "vindictive."