Neal: Ritter, court broke promises by District 51

Gov. Bill Ritter and the Colorado Supreme Court “used semantics” to reverse promises made by School District 51, one of the district’s former board members said.

Marcia Neal, now a member of the state Board of Education representing the 3rd Congressional District, said that as a District 51 board member, she made promises the state has undermined.
District 51 voters approved a measure that allowed the district to accept gifts, grants and money from fundraisers. That money would otherwise have violated the revenue caps established in the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, which voters approved in 1992.

She and others assured voters the effort to raise revenue caps would not be used for any other purposes, Neal wrote.

“Little did (voters) know that eight years later the governor would use the measure to circumvent TABOR in no longer allowing tax rates to decrease,” Neal said in a statement. 

“People have grown distrustful of their government,” she said. “Local control and the word of the local politician have been deeply harmed by this action.”

The Supreme Court on Monday affirmed the constitutionality of the mill-levy freeze adopted by the Legislature and signed by Ritter in 2007.

The bill shifts more of the tax burden in most school districts to local taxpayers, freeing up the state general fund for other purposes.


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