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May 24, 2023

SIGNED! Landmark Plan to Provide Urgent Property Tax Relief

SB23-303 will refer a measure to the voters to save taxpayers more than $1 billion on their property taxes

DENVER, CO – Governor Polis today signed landmark legislation that will refer a measure to the voters to provide historic property tax relief for homeowners and businesses while ensuring funding for schools and other local governments is protected.

SB23-303, sponsored by Senate President Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder, and Senator Chris Hansen, D-Denver, and Reps. Chris deGruy Kennedy, D-Lakewood, and Mike Weissman, D-Aurora, creates a long-term solution to prevent growing home values from raising property taxes, and implements limits that protect homeowners and businesses from steep unexpected increases in their property taxes. 

"Coloradans are about to get hit with painful property tax spikes, which is why we're taking action now to meet the moment and provide real relief for Colorado families," Fenberg said. "This transformative proposal delivers long-term reductions in property tax rates while providing immediate savings on this year’s property taxes, so we can better support our schools and our communities and build a Colorado everyone can afford to love." 

“Rising home values are leading to dramatic increases in property taxes that many Coloradans simply can’t afford,” said deGruy Kennedy, D-Lakewood. “Prop HH will reduce property taxes for all homeowners and increase funding for rental support programs while protecting funding for schools, libraries, child welfare offices, water and fire districts, and the services Coloradans rely on. Seniors will see a larger homestead exemption and be able to downsize or sell their home without facing a higher tax bill.”

“The cost of housing in Colorado is incredibly high, and if we don't act, Coloradans will suffer record increases on their property taxes. This would be especially difficult for working families, and would hit folks on fixed incomes incredibly hard," said Hansen. "That's why we’re working to provide immediate property tax relief that will save families across our state millions of dollars and keep people in their homes. This proposal will also give voters an opportunity to protect sustainable funding for our schools and local services like hospitals and firefighters while addressing the urgent property tax situation. I'm proud to champion this legislation that will provide immediate relief and protect the critical services Coloradans depend on to thrive."

“This property tax reduction package will lower housing costs, help seniors on fixed incomes, and put more money back into the pockets of middle and lower-income Coloradans,” said Weissman. “Prop HH is a sustainable, long-term solution to protect Coloradans from rising property taxes while ensuring funding for our public schools and local government services. It’s exciting for our state that voters will soon see a measure on the ballot to keep Colorado property taxes predictable while still funding public services that people expect from their communities.”

Coloradans will vote on the package in November, and if approved the proposal will create a flat TABOR refund mechanism that will increase refunds for Coloradans making under $100,000 a year while providing major long-term reductions to property tax rates and 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 relief for homeowners and businesses in Colorado.

Other property tax relief 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 $50,000 in 2023 and 2024, and continuing this reduction for primary residences (not second homes or investment properties) 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.

  • 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.

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