Ritter Plans to Block Property Tax Decrease to Fund Schools

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Northglenn, Colo. (AP) Governor Ritter Tuesday announced a plan to use property taxes to provide an extra $84 million dollars for public schools.

The plan would block a projected drop in residential property taxes in all but two of the state's 178 school districts.

Ritter earlier proposed using mineral tax revenues to increase education funding. But Western Colorado residents objected and said mineral taxes are meant to help residents cope with the impacts of oil and gas drilling.

Ritter says it would apply only to districts where voters have agreed to relax limits in the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, or TABOR, to support schools.

Ritter contends the plan wouldn't run afoul of TABOR, which limits tax increases.

But Tabor co-author, El Paso County Commissioner Douglas Bruce, says a vote is required any time taxpayers are asked to give up their refunds.

The school finance act is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee Wednesday.

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