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Ever since TABOR (the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights) was enacted in 1992, our courts and legislature have been ignoring the large animal in the room. Namely, the difference between a “tax” and a “fee.” Some things seem logical. Such as a “drivers’ license fee” versus a “property tax.” This seems logical until someone wants to call the property tax a “homeowner's fee.” Should that occur, the cost of owning a home could skyrocket completely against the intent of the TABOR law.

How much longer can we live with uncertainty of not being able to distinguish the difference between a tax and a fee? The difference can be either semantics or anyone’s individual reality. This becomes even more dangerous as our state legislature seeks to contrive other avenues for increased funding of government projects. Some of these projects were never the original intent or purpose of government as viewed by our founding fathers.

This is indeed a difficult concept and project. Yet, without a clear definition, aren’t we all at risk financially?

William F Hineser, DPM


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