While Gov. Bill Ritter has eagerly insisted that he will appeal a Friday court ruling establishing that a mill levy freeze amounts to an unconstitutional tax increase under Colorado law, members of the state Board of Education, a defendant in the case, remain undecided about whether they will formally join in support of Ritter’s challenge.
It appears the District Court ruling may have emboldened the two Republicans on the State Board to change their mind. The Board meets in executive session tomorrow:
Vice Chairman Bob Schaffer, R-Fort Collins, introduced in April a motion for the board to take a formal position, by way of public vote, on whether the department would â€œdefend the lawsuit or [agree with] the claims against the state.â€
Schafferâ€™s only support came from Littleton. Fellow Republicans Randy DeHoff, D-Littleton, and Chairwoman Pamela Jo Suckla, R-Slickrock, sided with Democrats and voted to defend the lawsuit. At the time, Suckla said, “It is not in the best interest of this board to debate the issue and the caseâ€™s merits in a public forum. That is not our job.”
Littleton believes that Friday’s ruling will be enough to persuade Suckla and DeHoff to change their positions. Hudak did not disagree.
Switching from their original votes would mean the State Board would NOT appeal the legal decision to protect the rights of taxpayers from Bill Ritter’s unconstitutional property tax increase.
And Ritter, who intervened to become a defendant in the case, would be defending it all alone.