- By MICHAEL KARLIK firstname.lastname@example.org
- Apr 30, 2021Updated 23 hrs ago
The Title Board reconsidered its ballot titles for three property tax reduction proposals at its April 30, 2021 meeting.
Opponents were unsuccessful at derailing three ballot initiatives that would cost local governments more than $1 billion in property tax revenue as the Title Board on Friday stuck by its original decision to award a ballot title to the measures.
On April 21, the three-member board concluded Initiatives #26-28 contained a single subject, as the state constitution requires, and consequently set a title that would appear before voters. But objectors Carol Hedges and Scott Wasserman challenged the board’s finding, trigging a rehearing at the Title Board’s final meeting to screen proposals for the 2021 statewide ballot.
As introduced, the initiatives would all reduce the residential property tax assessment rate from 7.15% to 6.5% and cut the assessment rate for all other property from 29% to 26.4%. Nonpartisan fiscal analysts estimated the tax cut would constitute a $1.03 billion hit to local governments, affecting services such as K-12 education and police. Because Colorado’s school financing scheme requires the state to backfill funding for local districts, there would be an extra $258 million in additional state spending each year.
Partially offsetting the sizeable loss in local government revenue would be $25 million that the state could temporarily direct toward localities — if excess income exists that normally would be refunded under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. The three proposed initiatives would funnel the money toward fire protection, toward reimbursements for the senior homestead tax exemption, toward general relief.
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