DENVER—Today, the Colorado General Assembly concluded its work on Governor Hickenlooper’s special session, unable to pass his proposal to reinstate the taxation authority for special districts around the state. His specific proposal, and subsequent call for a special session, came several months after analysts determined a new law, signed earlier in the year, inadvertently removed that taxation authority on recreational marijuana.
House Republicans repeatedly cited constitutionality concerns with the governor’s proposal, pointing to language in the Colorado Constitution that explicitly states: “districts must have voter approval in advance for a tax policy change directly causing a net tax revenue gain.”
House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) issued the following statement following the conclusion of the special session:
“Tax payers should be furious that the governor wasted more than $50,000 to call us back into session to debate policy that violates Colorado’s Constitution. The special districts have no one else to blame than the governor for waiting months to address this issue, and then failing to discuss with the legislature any other viable options to solve this problem.”
Special districts, such as Regional Transportation Districts (RTD) and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), lost the ability to collect sales tax on recreational marijuana once Senate Bill 17-267 went into effect on July 1st. The bill was signed into law on May 30th, and the issue was discovered shortly afterwards. However, Governor Hickenlooper’s first invitation to discuss his legislative proposal with Minority Leader Neville was yesterday at 12:30pm.