Amendment 74 requires just compensation to a private property owner when a government action reduces the fair market value of property. Current state law already allows due compensation to that property owner so who is behind this legislation?
The oil and gas industry has spent $8 million to support this legislation. Need I say more? County and city zoning rules and other protections will be at risk due to costs to litigate along with huge tax losses affecting schools, police and fire departments, and county and city budgets just to name a few.
If passed, this amendment could affect every manner of sensible government regulation that protects people rather than profits, especially oil and gas profits. In this era of decreased federal, environmental and human safety protections, it is more important than ever for states, counties and cities to be able to protect their citizens by local regulations.
Who opposes this amendment? Nearly 100 diverse civic organizations plus cities, including Colorado Association of Realtors, the Colorado Education Association, The Fraternal Order of Police and Conservation Colorado.
How do we know this amendment would be bad for Colorado? Oregon passed a similar measure in 2004 and had $20 billion in lawsuits filed in three years against local governments, resulting in $4.5 billion in payments. Oregon citizens repealed the measure to avoid crippling their schools, cities, counties and the state itself.
I hope Colorado voters will be smart enough not to make the same mistakes as Oregon. Vote “No” on Amendment 74.