A judge's gavel.
A courtroom gavel. (Joe Gratz, Flickr)

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Colorado’s strict constitutional tax and spending limits.

Colorado Politics reports that the court dismissed the lawsuit, filed in 2011 by a group of elected officials who argued that the voter-approved 1992 Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights violates the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees a republican form of government in each state where elected officials make decisions.

The constitutional amendment known as TABOR requires that tax increases be approved by voters. It also requires the state to refund tax revenue that exceeds a figure determined by a formula based on inflation and population growth.

In a 7-2 decision issued Monday, the federal panel found the plaintiffs had failed to show the guarantee of a republican form of government gave local government entities the right to challenge TABOR.

Critics of TABOR contend it has starved state government of funds necessary to adequately pay for education, transportation and other priorities in the fast-growing state.

In 2017, U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore dismissed the suit, finding the plaintiffs didn’t prove they were harmed by TABOR and thus had no standing to challenge it in court. A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit reversed that finding in 2019. Gov. Jared Polis and Attorney General Phil Weiser subsequently appealed to the entire 10th Circuit.

The Associated Press

Email: newsroom@coloradosun.com