View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, September 25, 2003

The Ghost of Colorado Future

George Will's somewhat uncritical look at Nevada's Governor Kenny Guinn should be a warning to Colorado. We have our own set of similarly colliding priorities: low property taxes, strict limits on spending, and a requirement that education be fully funded at increasing levels. As described before, TABOR ratchets down during a recession, and the lower per-person spending becomes the new baseline.

What Will doesn't mention is that in Nevada, Governor Guinn allowed the legislature to fund all the non-mandatory items first, leaving education until last. The State Supreme Court didn't rule that the legislature had to stay in session until it cut the Gordian knot, it decided that one part of the state constitution was more important than another. That the mandate for funding education was "substantive," while the requirement for a 2/3 vote for a tax increase was merely "procedural." Evidently the extra money coming from residents' wallets isn't substantive enough for the court.

This could happen here. The Colorado state government, faced with the same problems in the next recession, could just decide that TABOR or Gallagher aren't as important as Amendment 23, and raise our taxes without asking. This is a train wreck waiting to happen, and we need to do something about it now.

Blogarama - The Blog Directory
help Israel
axis of weevils
contact us
site sections