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.

Comments (5)
  1. LKH says:

    Kerr is my hero. TABOR starts with a fairly good idea – no tax increases without taxpayer consent. But it goes further, containing clauses that will bankrupt the state and local governments unless changes are put in place. People should not govern this state by constitutional amendment. When they do it, bad ideas get carved in stone and can’t be fixed. There’s a difference between the purpose of the constitution (to provide a FRAMEWORK for the law) and statute (to fill in the details). TABOR crossed the line and should be struck, and then our leaders should follow with legislation that does what the taxpayers meant TABOR to do without the foolish additions.

    1. I. R. says:

      Could you elaborate a little on “clauses that will bankrupt the state and local governements”? Also, elaborate on “should not govern this state by constitutional amendment”? I want to make sure I understand exactly what you mean when you defend the strike down of TABOR.

  2. Mike Walsh says:

    I remember voting against light rail . They did it anyway without voter approval. Now2 they want to can ouronsitutiion because it puts a crmp in their style.itc

  3. John says:

    Most of them are too arrogant or stupid to realize why we passed Tabor in the first place.
    They just think that since they hold office they are kings of the world.
    Our government absolutely stinks.

    It would not mnatter how much money they collect from us they will waste it.
    So let me tell Mr. Lambert and all the other jerks out there calling themselves politicians where they can stick their lawsuit.

  4. Tim McLemore says:

    This is a perfect example to the government saying ‘We dont care what the peoples wishes are” Who do these goofballs work for anyway? Its does not appear to be the people that elected them. Irrespective it should not be a court decision anyway if they have a problem with Tabor put it to a vote again. SEE WHAT THE PEOPLE THINK!

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