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Group Of Colorado Leaders Call TABOR ‘Unconstitutional’

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DENVER (CBS4) – A current and former Colorado lawmaker are amont those taking the TABOR Amendment to court nearly 20 years after voters passed it.

The Taxpayer Bill of Rights requires voter approval to raise taxes. The group — which includes Democratic Rep. Andy Kerr of Lakewood and former Republican state Sen. Norma Anderson — argues it is unconstitutional.

“I think the way TABOR was written and provisions of it are a direct assault to the U.S. Constitution,” Kerr said.

His argument is the amendment is unconstitutional because it takes the power to govern away from elected officials. Kerr specifically argues TABOR takes away a core function of the government: the power to tax.

Jon Caldara disagrees. Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a conservative think tank, and says if this lawsuit succeeds then every initiative anywhere in the country would be unconstitutional.

“Let’s say this guy is living in a magical kingdom and can actually win this lawsuit. That means that not only is TABOR no longer a part of our constitution but neither is Amendment 23 for K-12 education spending, neither is term limits, campaign finance laws, ethics laws, merits elections for judges, open meetings laws,” Caldara said.

But Kerr said the lawsuit is narrowly focused on TABOR.

It could take months or even years for the case to make its way through the courts.

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