Dem Cronyism in Colorado

Local tax officials in Colorado approved more than $200,000 in tax breaks for a prominent family who made political donations to the officials’ campaigns, the Denver Post reports.

Adams County Assessor Gil Reyes and his predecessor personally handled dozens of tax appeals from a prominent local family, shaving more than $5 million from the taxable values of their lands.

The successful — and unusual — direct appeals to Reyes and W.R. "Skip" Fischer, now the chairman of the county commission, saved the Carlsons, a family of land developers, at least $216,000 in taxes, a Denver Post investigation found.

The Carlsons, campaign contributors to both assessors, were especially successful in their appeals to Reyes.

According to the Post, Reyes approved 94 percent of the Carlsons’ requests for value reductions on property owned by the family, resulting in a lighter tax burden. The average success rate for appeals to the Adams County assessor’s office since 1999 is just 51 percent.