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Feb 15, 2012 7:18 AM by Kate Richards

Challenge to TABOR hearings start

DENVER (AP) - A direct challenge to Colorado's Taxpayer's Bill of Rights is in federal court.

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers sued over the constitutional amendment that severely limits officials' ability to tax and spend.

The lawmakers argue that TABOR violates the U.S. constitution because it strips legislative bodies of the power to tax and spend. They're up against Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, whose administration is asking for a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.

A federal judge in Denver planned to consider the motion to dismiss on Wednesday.

TABOR says that citizens must give permission to tax hikes. TABOR also limits government spending and growth. Many conservatives cheer TABOR, but others say the 1992 amendment ties legislators' hands when dealing with recessions and downturns in tax receipts.

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