“De-Brucing” In Lakewood

TABOR could be overridden again in Lakewood, a suburb of Denver. A provision that will be on the November ballot seeks to renew a measure that has allowed the city to spend money above state budget limits since 1999.

TABOR, which stands for the “Taxpayer’s Bill Of Rights,” is a set of state provisions that limits the amount of money the government can keep. It was passed in 1992 after a man named Doug Bruce authored it. Any act of overriding TABOR is called “de-Brucing.”Currently, Lakewood city council members against the renewal have sent robotic telephone calls to residents in the city, and now one city councilman has admitted that the calls were sent using  resources at Libertarian Party headquarters, according to the Denver Post:

Councilwoman Debbie Koop said other council members should have been given a copy.

“The message was not very accurate,” added Councilwoman Cheryl Wise. She said the city has had to bypass getting open- space money because a tight budget kept it from coming up with matching funds. With last year’s sales-tax hike, the money now is available.

Wise also is irked that Anderson, Elliott and Stack have “chosen not to speak at the public policy table” and have voted “to deny the citizens an opportunity to express their voice, which is what TABOR is all about.”

A public hearing on the proposed ballot issue will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 at Lakewood City Hall.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.

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