Resolution Number 18-09

A resolution opposing amendment 74, an attempt to ament the Colorado Constitution to drastically limit State and Local Government Services as a high cost to taxpayers.

Whereas, local government services are essential to the citizens of Deer Trail. 

Whereas, Amendment 74 has been written by certain out-of-state corporate interests to change the text of the Colorado Constitution, Article II, Section 15, which dates back to 1876 and threatens basic governmental services. 

Whereas, Amendment 74 declares that any state or local government law or regulation that "reduces" the "fair market value" of a private parcel is subject to "just compensation;" 

Whereas, while Amendment 74 is shrouded in simple language, it has far reached and unintended impacts. 

Whereas, under the current Colorado Constitution, a property owner already has the right to seek compensation from state or local governments. 

Whereas, Amendment 74 would expand this well-established concept by requiring the government-Le., the taxpayers - to compensate private property owners for virtually any decrease whatsoever in the fair market value of their property traceable to any government law or regulation; 

Whereas, Amendment 74 would create uncertainty because it is not clear what the language actually means or how it can be applied. 

Whereas, Amendment 74 would severely limit the ability of Colorado's state and local governments to do anything that might indirectly, unintentionally, or minimally affect the fair market value of any private property. 

Whereas, Amendment 74 would drastically diminish the ability of our state and local governments to adopt - let alone attempt to enforce - reasonable regulations, limitations, and restrictions upon private property. 

Whereas, Amendment 74 would place laws, ordinances, and regulations designed to protect public health and safety, the environment, our natural resources, public infrastructure, and other public resources in jeopardy. 

Whereas, Amendment 74 would make inherently dangerous or environmentally damaging activities prohibitively costly to attempt to limit or regulate, even in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare. 

Whereas, any arguable impact upon fair market value - however reasonable or justified or minimal or incidental or temporary - resulting from state or local government action could trigger a claim for the taxpayers to pay. 

Whereas, governments would be vulnerable to lawsuits for almost every decision to regulate or not to regulate, making regular government function prohibitively expensive for the taxpayer. 

Whereas, similar efforts have been attempted and defeated in other states, such as the states of Washington and Oregon. 

Whereas, the fiscal impact for similar language in Washington was estimated at $2 billion dollars for state agencies and $1.5 billion for local governments over the first six years; and 

Whereas, individuals filed several thousand claims against state and local governments with an estimated value in excess of several billions of dollars in claims in Oregon before the residents repealed the takings initiative three years after its passage.

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Board of Trustees of the Town of Deer Trail, Colorado, as follows:

Section 1. 

The Board of Trustees of the Town of Deer Trail hereby opposes Amendment 74, which would amend the State Constitution to include just compensation for any government law or regulation deemed to reduce fair market value of private property, and strongly urges a vote of No this November.

Introduced, read, and adopted this 23rd day of October 2018.

James Johnson, Mayor
Town of Deer Trail Colorado

Attest: Candice Reed, Town Clerk