In Colorado, people appealing state or local tax bills in court must deposit twice the tax, fees and interest owed with a court, pay for a surety bond or send the disputed amount to the Department of Revenue.
But state Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, is proposing a bill to change that, saying it is inappropriate to have to pay while the tax is still in dispute.
“It’s a question of due process,” Neville told Watchdog.org about Senate Bill 16-36. “Why should you have to put up money just to have your day in court.”
A similar bill was proposed last year, but Colorado Municipal League opposed it because it was filed late.
“We did oppose this bill when introduced late in the session last year, but on process grounds, as it was the last few days of the session and there was no time to deliberate or network [the] bill,” wrote CML general counsel Geoff Wilson in an email exchange. The “bill was withdrawn by proponents.”
But Wilson said he hasn’t heard any opposition from his members this year.
And the legislation does not seem to face opposition from other groups that might have tried to kill the legislation.
IN OTHER NEWS: Colorado committee looks to overturn tax protections.
As tough as it was to find an opponent, Watchdog was also unable to find a business or taxpayer affected by having to put up such a bond who was willing to discuss the issue.
The lobbyists for the bill called several businesses on Watchdog’s behalf, but none wanted to go on the record about their problems with the bonding requirement.
Neville said he hopes the measure will pass with little opposition.
“We want to take care of everybody’s needs, but the big focus is making sure you didn’t have to mortgage your life savings to get a hearing,” he said.