Court won’t expedite mill-levy freeze ruling

The Colorado Supreme Court will not issue a decision on the legality of Gov. Bill Ritter’s mill levy freeze in the immediate future, the court said in an order released Friday.

The Colorado Department of Education asked the court, in a recent motion, to rule by the end of this week, citing the need for school districts to certify their property tax rates for the coming year.

Though the court declined to expedite its ruling, it did agree in the order to stay the decision of a lower court that ruled Ritter’s tax plan unconstitutional.

“By issuing this stay, the court intends to preserve the status quo … until this court issues its final decision in this matter,” the order said.

The mill levy freeze, signed into law in 2007, prevents local school district property tax rates from falling when they otherwise would have.

Conservatives, led by the Mesa County Commission and Evan Gluckman, owner of the Main Street Cafe, challenged the law’s legality under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Conservative state lawmakers, including Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction, decried the court’s order as a sign of partisanship.


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