The Colorado Supreme Court eased the concerns of taxpayers last
week by reversing a lower-court ruling that said the state is
constitutionally required to increase education funding.
It is a case that dates back to 2005, when a group representing
14 rural school districts sued the State of Colorado claiming
school funding by the state failed to provide a "thorough and
uniform" education required by the state Constitution. A Denver
district judge ultimately ruled in favor of the districts in 2011
and the state education board appealed that ruling.
Ben DeGrow of the Independence Institute says if the lower
court's decision in Lobato v. Colorado had been upheld,
taxpayers would have been burdened with billions more in taxes. He
says the Colorado Supreme Court justices also noted that
communities have enough power on their own to raise needed
"In addition to the state's school-funding formula, school
districts can go to voters and ask for additional property taxes up
to a certain amount," he explains to OneNewsNow. "... Certain
wealthier districts have definitely taken advantage of that, and
it's something available to school districts all over
Governor John Hickenlooper (D) has just signed a billion-dollar
measure to increase education funding, something the policy analyst
says voters will have to approve.
"Now with the Democrats in charge, they're putting all their
political weight behind Senate Bill 213 ... and the billion-dollar
tax increase to fund it," he points out. "But hopefully once the
voters have rejected that, then we'll sit down and take a serious
look as some serious reform ideas."
Colorado's "Taxpayer Bill of Rights" law requires that voters
approve any proposed tax increases.