Tax Lawsuit

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DENVER (AP) _ Mesa County Commissioners and others have filed a lawsuit challenging the State's freeze on property-tax rates that were expected to fall, saying the measure qualifies as a tax increase that voters must approve under State law.

The law would hold property taxes where they are in districts with relatively low rates. In some districts with the highest rates, the tax rate would fall. The law would generate more than 114 million dollars extra in property taxes, according to the latest estimates.

Governor Ritter's spokesman, Evan Dreyer, says the freeze doesn't need to go to an election because voters in the districts where it applies have already decided to break free of the
taxpayer's bill of rights, which limits state taxing and spending.

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