Opponents To Property Tax Ballot Measure Say Lawmakers Manipulated Nonpartisan Voter Guide – Colorado Public Radio

Coloradans will be asked this fall whether to repeal the Gallagher Amendment, a provision in the state constitution that caps residential property tax rates.

But the group fighting the measure says the way the state plans to explain it to voters is misleading, and they’ve filed suit to demand a rewrite.

“Protect Our Homes Colorado” has asked a Denver District Court judge to change the language in the state official voter guide — the Blue Book — that’s mailed to millions of voters, and halt its printing until that happens. The language is typically written by nonpartisan staff on the Legislative Council, the legislature’s research arm. 

But in this case, large pieces of the Blue Book description were rewritten by legislators, including House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver, and state Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley.

“It’s all with the goal of making sure that the actual language in the Blue Book will match what the public will hear in the debate,” Garnett said at a committee meeting last week.

That change to match the coming political debate is precisely the problem, said Clay Vigoda, campaign manager for Protect Our Homes Colorado.

“They disregarded the legislative council staff’s attempt to make this unbiased and non-partisan, which is required by the Colorado constitution,” he said in a press conference Wednesday. “And instead they made wholesale changes that basically turned the Blue Book language on Amendment B into campaign propaganda for
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