When the financial burden of state regulation of issue committees approaches or exceeds the value of the financial contributions to a political effort, such regulations may unconstitutionally burden freedom of association. Samson v. Buescher. Colorado’s Constitution art. XXVIII sec. 2(10)(a)(II) and CRS 1-45-108 establish a $200 threshold for registering issue committees and for reporting contributions and expenditures retro- and prospectively (Limits). Samson found the Limits to be unconstitutional as applied to a small-scale issue committee. To address the confusion caused by Samson, Gessler promulgated CCR 1505-6:4.27 (now Rule 4.1), setting the threshold at $5000, applied prospectively only. The Court set aside Rule 4.1 as contrary to the still-valid Limits, which could be constitutionally applied in cases dissimilar from Samson’s $2000 in contributions.
Tag Archives: As-applied Challenge
Scott Gessler, as Secretary of State v. Colorado Common Cause and Colorado Ethics Watch, 2014CO44 (June 16, 2014)
One theory about the fall of the French monarchy is that its taxation system was inefficient. In this case, Denver assessed taxes on concessionaires in DIA. DIA, as a city entity, is exempt from ad valorem (property) taxes. However, private possessory interests in property located on exempt property may nonetheless be taxed. Case law defines a possessory interest as taxable if: 1) revenues are provided by private sources, 2) owner can exclude others, and 3) ownership lasts long enough for a private benefit. According to the court of appeals here, the Colorado Constitution imposes the tax, but the methodology for assessing taxes on possessory interests is statutory. Here, the court rejected the concessionaires’ constitutional challenge to the statute and the court held that the concessionaires had a taxable possessory interest. Accordingly, the concessionaires were taxed.