A bipartisan group of 34 people, many of them former state and local elected officials, is expected to file a challenge in federal court to Colorado's Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) today. Colorado's TABOR law was passed via the citizen initiative process in 1992. It requires voter approval of tax increases, caps how much revenue the state may collect and spend each year, and requires that any excess beyond the revenue cap be returned to taxpayers. In 2005, Colorado voters approved a temporary suspension of TABOR. The suspension expired in July 2010.
The lawsuit alleges that Colorado's initiative process violates Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the states a "Republican Form of Government," because it prevents the legislature from raising taxes without a popular vote. Attorneys in the case argue that "events have demonstrated that a legislature unable to raise and appropriate funds cannot meet its primary constitutional obligations or provide services that are essential for a state."
The outcome of the case could affect the many laws and constitutional provisions in Colorado that were passed via the citizen initiative process.
Read more in the Denver Post.