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Colorado Department of Law — Annual Report 2009 - page 36 / 41





36 / 41

Colorado Department of Law — Annual Report 2009

Attorneys in this Unit also provide legal representation to the Property Tax Division within the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. The Property Tax Division coordinates and administers the implementation of property tax law throughout 64 counties in Colorado. Attorneys representing the Division provide statutory interpretation and other general counsel services as needed and represent the Administrator in administrative hearings and negotiations before the Board of Assessment Appeals.

In 2009:

  • The Unit’s attorneys prepared an Attorney General Opinion concluding that medical marijuana is tangible personal property subject to sales tax and that a state retail sales tax license does not represent an endorsement of the license-holder's compliance with the law.

  • Unit attorneys litigated cases defending the tax on tobacco products against claims of unconstitutionality, analyzed whether the generation of electricity constitutes the “manufacture” of “tangible personal property” and disputed appropriate taxation of the sales of materials used for well fracturing operations in the oil and gas production industry.

  • Revenue Unit attorneys successfully obtained a ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court holding that the maximum conservation easement tax credit permitted by statute applies to the aggregate credit claimed per donation, rather than permitting each member of a tenancy in common to claim up to the maximum credit. This decision affects 42 similar cases with an estimated total of $5 million in income tax plus interest.

  • Unit attorneys defended a district court ruling in the Colorado Court of Appeals that said the Department of Revenue’s approach to calculating taxation for the mining industry did not violate the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

  • Unit attorneys worked with the attorneys general in 40 other states in the bankruptcy cases filed by Chrysler and General Motors. In these cases, Revenue Unit attorneys ensured that the State’s regulatory authority over the reorganized car manufacturers was preserved and that all tax liabilities of the car manufacturers were assumed by the successor entities.

  • Unit attorneys successfully defended a lawsuit against the Colorado Port of Entry concerning the assessment of an administrative penalty for failure to register construction equipment.

  • Attorneys also successfully defended against a homeowners association lawsuit against State liquor license authorities for approving a retail liquor license.

  • Colorado Gaming Commission attorneys assisted with the promulgation of new rules necessary for the implementation of Amendment 50, which significantly expanded the scope of gaming in Colorado.

  • Attorneys provided frequent legal advice to the Motor Vehicle Division by reviewing rules and records requests, and by representing the Division in appeals of driver’s license revocation cases to the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court.

Medical Unit

The Medical Unit provides legal representation to Department of Regulatory Agencies boards and commissions that oversee physicians, physician assistants, podiatrists, nurses, certified nurse aides, psychiatric technicians and nursing home administrators. The Unit also represents the newly created Nurse Physician Advisory Task Force for Colorado Health Care, which was created in 2009. The Unit provides legal support to each board and commission as they protect public health, safety and welfare. The Unit’s legal services include litigation and resolution of licensure, disciplinary, and injunctive matters, as well


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