Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

City of Northglenn v. Board of County Commissioners

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Seventh Division

December 15, 2016

City of Northglenn, Colorado, a Colorado municipality; City of Aurora, Colorado, a Colorado municipality; City of Commerce City, Colorado, a Colorado municipality, Plaintiffs-Appellants and Cross-Appellees,
v.
Board of County Commissioners, Adams County, Colorado, a Colorado statutory county, Defendant-Appellee and Cross-Appellant.

         Adams County District Court No. 15CV30862 Honorable F. Michael Goodbee, Judge

         JUDGMENT REVERSED

          Hoffman Parker Wilson & Carberry P.C., Corey Y. Hoffman, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellant and Cross-Appellee City of Northglenn, Colorado

          Michael Hyman, City Attorney, Teresa L. Kinney, Assistant County Attorney, Daniel L. Money, Assistant County Attorney, Aurora, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellant and Cross-Appellee City of Aurora, Colorado

          Robert D. Sheesley, City Attorney, for Plaintiff-Appellant and Cross-Appellee Colorado, City of Commerce City

          Heidi M. Miller, County Attorney, Jennifer D. Stanley, Assistant County Attorney, Brighton, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee and Cross-Appellant

          OPINION

          BERGER JUDGE

         ¶ 1 In 2012, Colorado voters adopted Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use as a matter of state law, under particular circumstances. To effectuate Amendment 64, the General Assembly enacted the retail marijuana sales tax, sections 39-28.8-101 to -606, C.R.S. 2016, which Colorado voters approved through Proposition AA. The retail marijuana sales tax authorizes the state to levy a statewide special sales tax on retail marijuana.[1]

         ¶ 2 In 2014, Adams County voters approved a resolution authorizing the county to levy a countywide special sales tax on retail marijuana.[2] Three home rule cities in Adams County challenged the Adams County tax, claiming that it was unauthorized by Colorado law. Adams County asserted that the cities did not have standing, and, on the merits, that the county tax was authorized by the retail marijuana sales tax.

         ¶ 3 We conclude that the district court correctly determined that the cities had standing to bring their claims. On the merits, we hold that Adams County does not have either constitutional or statutory authorization to impose a special sales tax on retail marijuana. Accordingly, we hold that the Adams County special sales tax is invalid and reverse the judgment.

         I. Relevant Facts and Procedural History

         ¶ 4 Following the passage of Amendment 64, Colorado voters approved a number of special sales taxes on retail marijuana. At the state level, the General Assembly enacted and voters approved the retail marijuana sales tax, imposing a statewide special sales tax. At the county level, the Adams County Board of County Commissioners (the County) proposed a countywide special sales tax, which Adams County voters approved. At the municipal level, voters of the cities of Aurora, Northglenn, and Commerce City (collectively the Cities) also approved special sales taxes.

         ¶ 5 These special sales taxes, which only apply to retail marijuana, were imposed in addition to all pre-existing general sales taxes, which apply to the sale of any good or service, including retail marijuana. As a result, retail marijuana sold in the Cities was subject to a special sales tax at the city, county, and state levels, in addition to general sales taxes.

         ¶ 6 While the Cities anchored their authority to enact special sales taxes to their constitutionally granted powers as home rule cities, the County claimed its authority emanated from sections 39-28.8-101 to -606, C.R.S. 2016 (the retail marijuana sales tax), and section 29-2-103, C.R.S. 2016 (its general sales tax authority).

         ¶ 7 The Cities disagreed with the County's reading of the retail marijuana sales tax and claimed that it did not expressly grant the County authority to impose a special sales tax and, therefore, the tax was invalid. Both the Cities and the County sought legislative clarification from the General Assembly on this question, but the General Assembly declined to enact any clarifying legislation with respect to county special sales taxes.[3]

          ¶ 8 After the County enacted ordinances and regulations implementing the countywide special sales tax, the Cities sued the County, seeking an injunction and declaratory judgment against the tax. The Cities moved for a preliminary injunction and the County moved to dismiss for lack of standing and for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The district court held that the Cities had standing, but denied their motion for a preliminary injunction, finding that they had not met several of the requirements for a preliminary injunction.

         ¶ 9 The district court converted the County's motion for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted into a motion for summary judgment and granted summary judgment to the County. The court concluded that there was ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.