Please consider writing to Council or speaking at the Special Meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18 in support of Item 2b Resolution No. 2018-189 to Oppose Amendment 74, Compensation for Reduction in Fair Market Value by Government Law or Regulation. Related to resident concerns about oil and gas development, the introduction to this Council resolution states that “Under 74, a law or regulation that results in any decrease in the fair market value of a property, as opposed to the current standard of an almost total loss in value or use, becomes a regulatory taking. For example, if a government limits natural gas development, the owner of the mineral rights could file a claim for the reduced value of his or her property.”
This resolution, along with two other resolutions related to November statewide ballot issues, were continued from the September 11 Council meeting after discussion about procedural matters. It began with Council Member Law-Evans asking if such a resolution required a super majority. CCOB Attorney Sullivan stated that the charter required that a resolution only needed a simple majority of those present. Mayor Ahrens reminded Council that they had supported school board measures with this procedure in the past. Mayor Ahrens then reminded Council of the new Council guideline of not beginning new matters after 10:30 p.m. and the resolutions were continued to September 18.
The proposed resolution states that Amendment 74 would “would require the government, i.e., the taxpayers, to compensate private property owners for virtually any decrease in the fair market value of their property (even if temporary or incidental) traceable to any government law or regulation.” It also refers to other states where similar initiatives failed after they were extremely costly for these states. The resolution includes details that, “The fiscal impact for similar language in the State of Washington was estimated at $2 billion for state agencies and $1.5 billion for county governments over the first six years, and in Oregon, there were $4 billion in claims before takings initiative was repealed two years after its passage.”
Amendment 74 is a constitutional amendment. Under Colorado’s Constitution, this measure would need 55% of the vote to pass, and 55% of the vote to later be repealed.
This amendment was first proposed by the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (COGA) and the Colorado Farm Bureau. COGA interest is connected to its desire to further limit the actions of local government to regulate oil and gas development by holding compensation lawsuits over the head of local government. The Colorado Municipal League and the Denver Metro Chamber oppose this amendment.
According to Sara Loflin of League of Oil and Gas Impacted Coloradans (LOGIC), “Amendment 74 [previously 108] will have broad sweeping, unintended consequences that only cost Colorado taxpayers and raise our property taxes. It would have our neighborhoods held for ransom to the highest bidder and serves to keep citizen voices out of all government decision making.” Ms. Loflin further states, “This amendment means that any local or state government land use, transportation, development, or regulatory decision would be subject to lawsuits – even in common sense decisions such as denying zoning or licensing to liquor stores proposed beside schools.”
LOGIC provided a two-page document titled “Save Our Colorado” which can be found here. You can also find more information on their website at www.saveourcolorado.com or they can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.