Kathi Meyer: Say ‘no’ to Amendment 74 | SteamboatToday.com

Kathi Meyer: Say ‘no’ to Amendment 74

If Amendment 74 passes, we will constantly hear the phase, “may it please the court.”

Amendment 74 proposes to amend the state Constitution to require the state or a local government to compensate a property owner if a law or regulation reduces the fair market value of their property.

Why do you care? Because ultimately it is the taxpayers who will pay.

The ability of elected officials to act on behalf of the health, safety and welfare of their community is a core function of government. Amendment 74 will lead to increased legal exposure and costly litigation that will increase the costs for government programs and services.

Let's look at an expensive experiment that Oregon tried. In 2004, Oregon passed a similar measure to 74. Within a year property owners filed more than 2,000 claims challenging decisions regarding development and land use regulations.

The law caused more than $20 billion in claims within three years. In 2007, the voters of Oregon passed a new law to repeal the takings law but the damage had been done.

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If 74 is passed, I predict chaos locally. Don't like the development down the street, sue the government for allowing it, arguing it devalues your home. Want affordable housing, or not … well, we will all be in court.

Many respected organizations are opposing 74 including the Colorado Municipal League, Colorado Counties Inc. and the Colorado Association of Ski Towns. The major newspapers in the state have adopted an editorial position against 74 including the Denver Post, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Grand Junction Sentinel and the Boulder Daily Camera. Governor Hickenlooper announced his opposition to 74.

The Steamboat Springs City Council passed a resolution opposing 74, the first time the council has taken a "political position" in recent memory. So please join me and avoid crippling budget costs by voting against Amendment 74.

Kathi Meyer

Steamboat Springs

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