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February 28, 2023

Property Tax Exemptions for Affordable Housing Passes Committee

DENVER, CO - The House Transportation, Housing, & Local Government Committee today unanimously passed a bipartisan bill to expand property tax exemptions for nonprofit housing developers to build up Colorado’s affordable housing stock. The bill passed by a vote of 12-0.

“One of our main goals this session is to ensure Colorado workers like educators, first responders, and hospitality workers have the opportunity to buy a home within their communities,” said Rep. William Lindstedt, D-Broomfield. “As the cost to purchase land rises, nonprofits and other affordable housing developers are increasingly reliant on tools that allow them to save on costs and contribute to our affordable housing inventory. Expanding on existing property tax exemptions for nonprofits incentivizes more affordable housing development, reducing financial barriers so more Coloradans can become homeowners and build wealth.”

HB23-1184, also sponsored by Rep. Lisa Frizell, expands property tax exemptions to include more nonprofit organizations that build and sell affordable housing and increases the Area Median Income to qualify for this housing from 80% to 100%. It also extends the exemption period from five years to 10 years to better reflect the development timeline for larger affordable housing projects. The bill would create a new property tax exemption for land owned by community land trusts and other nonprofit affordable homeownership providers that develop permanently affordable for-sale homes. This exemption only applies to the land and not the home.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition ranked Colorado as the 8th least affordable state in 2022 and stated that the average renter needed to work 2.3 full-time jobs at minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom rental. Data from the American Community Survey demonstrates the racial inequality when it comes to homeownership with 71 percent of non-Hispanic White Coloradans owning their home compared to only 51 percent of Hispanic and 43 percent of Black Coloradans.

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