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Long Story Short



You may have heard that the Colorado Supreme Court recently issued a ruling in Mesa County Board of County Commissioners v. State of Colorado. That ruling appears to undermine the hold our state Taxpayer's Bill of Rights has on tax changes. Some pundits predict it will lead to a field day for budget-strapped state legislators, and fiscal conservatives across the state are wringing their hands and cursing the courts.

But here in Colorado Springs, city leaders are doing neither. The Springs is controlled by both a city and state version of the law — not to mention a vocal guard of anti-tax crusaders. No one's expecting the city to wriggle out of TABOR's spending and taxing limits any time soon.

In fact, TABOR's presence and negative influence over this city should only become more obvious in the coming years — because its wording means the Springs won't be able to emerge from the economic recession with any speed. Long after the rest of us are eating steak once again, those in charge of our city parks, police, fire, roads and buses will be looking at cold bowls of porridge.

Welcome to the complex world of TABOR. In this week's cover story, we dig into some of the lesser-known impacts of the law most famous for giving Colorado's voters the right to decide on tax increases.

But that's only the beginning.

— J. Adrian Stanley

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