AGO 88-2.

Case Date:March 04, 1988
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1988. AGO 88-2. March 4, 1988Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 88-2 AG Alpha No. RG RA AGAQM Steven V. Berson Executive Director Department of Regulatory Agencies 1525 Sherman Street, Room 110 Denver, Colorado 80203 RE: Mile High Kennel Club's payment of a Commerce City taxDear Mr. Berson: This opinion letter is in response to your February 9, 1988 Memorandum, in which you inquired about the legality of the collection of the 1 percent tax which Commerce City imposes on Mile High Kennel Club and which is subsequently withheld by Mile High Kennel Club from the return to the public. QUESTION PRESENTED AND CONCLUSION Your request for an Attorney General's Opinion presents the question: Whether the law prohibits Mile High Kennel Club from paying a 1 percent Commerce City tax and the racetrack subsequently withholding this 1 percent fee from the return to the public? Yes. ANALYSIS Prior to a 1981 amendment, section 12-60-111(2), C.R.S. (1973) had authorized the race meet licensee to collect the amount of any governmental tax levied in addition to the percentage and tax breaks allowed in section 12-60-111. This statute created an apparent inconsistency in the statute in that the following sentence provided that the tax, breaks, and license fees in the racing statutes were in lieu of all other license fees, privilege taxes or charges by other governmental agencies. The General Assembly amended section 12-60-111, C.R.S. (1973), effective July 1, 1981, to restrict the imposition of a levy on a racing licensee solely to the federal government or any federal governmental agency. 1981 Colo. Sess. Laws 857. See section 12-60-111(2)(a), C.R.S. (1985). Your opinion request concerns the propriety of Commerce City's continuing to impose a levy of a 1 percent tax on money wagered at Mile High Kennel Club and Mile High Kennel Club's continuing collection of the amount of the tax levied from wagers. Construction of statutes should be guided by legislative intent, and courts should not interpret a statute to mean something other than what it expresses. E.g., Rancho Colorado, Inc. v. City of Broomfield, 196 Colo. 444, 586 P.2d 659 (1978). It is clear from the unambiguous amendment to section 12-60-111(2)(a) that only the federal...

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