Rodney C. Atherton and Ellyn R. Atherton, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
Barbara Brohl, in her official capacity as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, Defendant-Appellee
Jefferson County District Court No. 11CV4124. Honorable Steven E. Shinn, Judge.
Rodney C. Atherton, Pro se.
Ellyn R. Atherton, Pro se.
Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, Eric T. Meyer, First Assistant Attorney General, Grant T. Sullivan, Assistant Solicitor General, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee.
Taubman and Gabriel, JJ., concur.
[¶1] Plaintiffs, Rodney C. Atherton and Ellyn R. Atherton, appeal from a district court order concluding that their 2002 and 2005 conservation easement tax credits are invalid. We dismiss the appeal because the district court's judgment is not final.
[¶2] In 2002 and 2005, the Athertons recorded conservation easement deeds regarding two parcels they own in Jefferson County. They accordingly filed income tax returns claiming conservation easement tax credits pursuant to section 39-22-522, C.R.S. 2014. The Department of Revenue
(Department) disallowed the 2002 and 2005 claimed tax credits in 2007 and 2010, respectively, because the Athertons failed to satisfy state and federal requirements.
[¶3] The Athertons protested the Department's disallowance of the tax credits and requested an administrative hearing. In 2011, before an administrative hearing took place, the Athertons appealed the Department's decision to the district court pursuant to newly enacted procedures set out in section 39-22-522.5, C.R.S. 2014.
[¶4] The Department moved for summary judgment in district court, which the court denied. The district court then ordered that the parties proceed to a " [t]hreshold hearing concerning the validity of [the Athertons'] 2002 and 2005 tax credits." After that hearing, the district court issued a detailed order in the Department's favor, concluding that the claimed credits are deficient in various respects, and thus are invalid. The district court limited its order to the validity of the credits, but nonetheless indicated in its order, pursuant to section 39-22-522.5(2)(p), that it " shall constitute a final judgment and is thus subject to appeal."
[¶5] The Department filed a C.R.C.P. 59(e) motion to amend the district court's order, requesting that the district court fix the dollar amount that the Athertons owed the Department. The district court ultimately refused to do so, stating that any such dollar amount would ...