Londoner v. Denver

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Plaintiff

Londoner

Defendant

City and County of Denver

Facts

The state of Colorado gave the defendant the ability to make improvements to the city and specifically tax the beneficiaries of the improvements. Plaintiff submitted a complaint about the tax, claiming, among other things, that the tax was applied arbitrarily and that the taxed property did not benefit from the improvements. The city received the complaint but did not allow a hearing on the complaint. Rather they confirmed and approved the tax.

Discussion

The court first states that the constitution gives States broad authority to tax. However, when the legislature delegates taxing to a "subordinate" body the due process clause requires the taxpayer should have the opportunity to be heard before the tax becomes fixed. There does not have to be a full judicial hearing. Something informal where an oral argument could be made would suffice.