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May 7, 2023

JOINT RELEASE: Property Tax Reduction Package Will Include Flat TABOR Rebates

If Prop HH passes, Coloradans will receive a $661 TABOR rebate for single filers or $1,322 for joint filers, an increase for everyone making under $100,000

DENVER, CO - The House Appropriations Committee today passed a legislative package to lower property taxes for homeowners and businesses and create a flat TABOR refund mechanism that will increase refunds for Coloradans making under $100,000, while simultaneously protecting funding for critical community services. 

The package is sponsored by Representatives Chris deGruy Kennedy and Mike Weissman and Senators Stephen Fenberg, Chris Hansen, and Nick Hinrichsen. 

“Everyone deserves to benefit from lower property taxes. If Prop HH passes, Coloradans will all receive the same TABOR refund, putting more money back into the pockets of everyone making under $100,000 while saving homeowners over $1,000 on average on their property taxes,” said Rep. Chris deGruy Kennedy, D-Lakewood, sponsor of SB23-303 and HB23-1311. “While Colorado has some of the lowest residential property tax rates in the country, increases in home values will deeply impact homeowners and renters alike. With Prop HH, we’re proposing over $1 billion in savings for homeowners over the next two years and making TABOR refunds more equitable so middle and lower income Coloradans will see a larger refund.”

“We’ve worked hard to provide Coloradans immediate property tax relief through Prop HH that will save families across our state more than a billion dollar each year - but not everyone owns property, which is why we’re working to get them relief, too,” Senator Chris Hansen, D-Denver, said. “This proposal will make TABOR refunds more equitable and directly benefit Coloradans by getting them bigger refunds when they’re needed most.”

“Property taxes fund vital community services, from K-12 schools and fire departments to water districts and child welfare,” said Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora, sponsor of SB23-303 and HB23-1311. “Our property tax proposal will reduce taxes on homeowners, with the bulk of the savings going to people who own homes valued under $600,000, seniors on fixed incomes and veterans. As part of this proposal, Coloradans will receive the same flat TABOR refund they did last year, offering help to Coloradans who don’t own a home and who are facing significant rent increases.” 

“TABOR refunds should be equitable,” Senator Nick Hinrichsen, D-Pueblo, said. “Flat TABOR refunds will ensure that hardworking Coloradans from all walks of life are supported fairly. We’re taking care of property owners through Prop HH, and this proposal will help give folks more financial freedom to fill up their tank, put food on the table, buy school supplies, and pay their bills.”

SB23-303 creates a long-term solution to prevent growing home values from raising property taxes, and creates limits that protect homeowners and businesses from steep unexpected increases in their property taxes.

Coloradans will vote on this package in November, and if approved these measures will provide sustainable, long-term reductions to property tax rates while delivering immediate savings on property taxes this year. Combined with property tax reductions the legislature previously enacted via SB22-238, this proposal will cut the average homeowner’s tax increase in half, saving $1,264 on average over the next two years. In total, this package would provide between $900 million and $1.6 billion annually in property tax reductions for homeowners and businesses in Colorado. 

Other property tax reductions and protections proposed in this plan include: 

  • Reducing the residential assessment rate from 7.15 percent to 6.7 percent in 2023 and 2024, and continuing this reduction for primary residences.

  • Incrementally reducing the business property assessment rate from 29 percent to at least 26.9 percent by 2032.

  • Reducing the taxable value of residences by $40,000 in 2023 and 2024, and continuing this reduction for primary residences in future years.

  • Capping the growth in district property tax collections excluding school districts at inflation and allowing local governments to override the cap after giving notice to property owners.

  • Protecting funding for public education and backfilling revenue to fire districts, water districts, ambulance and hospital districts in areas of the state that aren’t growing as fast by dedicating a portion of the state TABOR surplus to backfill them.

  • Providing seniors who currently receive the Homestead Exemption a larger reduction of $140,000 and allowing them to continue to receive this reduction if they move.

If Colorado voters adopt Prop HH, HB23-1311 would require the TABOR surplus for FY 2022-2023 to be refunded equally to qualifying taxpayers. Without this legislation, the FY 2022-2023 TABOR refund would be refunded by the six-tier sales tax refund mechanism, giving lower earners smaller refunds than higher earners. If voters do not approve of Prop HH in the November 2023 election, the six-tier mechanism will be applied to TABOR refunds; single filers that make under $50,000 per year would receive a TABOR refund of $454, while single filers that make over $270,000 would receive a TABOR refund of $1,434. 

Under HB23-1311, Colorado taxpayers could expect to receive a refund of $661 for single filers, and $1,322 for joint filers. This will return more money to everyone making under $100,000 than under the current six tier refund mechanism. Final refund amounts will be determined based on updated revenue statistics. Further, after accounting for the portion of refunds that will backfill property tax reductions, Coloradans who make less than $100,000 can expect to see an increase in their TABOR refund if Prop HH passes. 

This legislation creates a more equitable TABOR refund mechanism for FY 2022-2023 and supports hardworking Coloradans better afford everyday necessities.

SB23-303 passed House Appropriations by a vote of 7 to 4. HB23-1311 passed House Appropriations by a vote of 6 to 4.

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