House Advances Measures Offering Relief and Reimbursement to Colorado Taxpayers | Governor

Colorado lawmakers this week advanced proposals to offer property tax relief and provide early repayment of TABOR, saying the measures would help residents at a time of soaring inflation and soaring prices Energy.

The House unanimously approved Senate Bill 238, which offers homeowners an average property tax refund of $274 based on a home value of $500,000, with more for properties of greater value. The property tax relief applies to the years 2023 and 2024. The Senate agreed with the House version and passed the final version, also unanimously. The measure now heads to Governor Jared Polis for signature.

“The legislation we passed today will prevent tax increases for many small businesses,” Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora, said in a statement. owner $274 on their property taxes.

In total, the bill aims to provide $700 million in property tax relief through several mechanisms: a change in commercial property assessment rates from 29% to 27.9% and a reduction $30,000 of the taxable assessment of a commercial property. The latter would help small businesses, proponents say, noting it is the first reduction in commercial assessment rates in 40 years.

On the residential side, the assessment rates would go from 6.95% to 6.765%. The bill also reduces the assessed value of homes by $15,000. Property taxes are calculated by multiplying the property assessment by the tax rate.

The bill “fills in” for lost county revenue through these property tax cuts, but not completely. Small counties with low appreciation rates — defined as less than 10% — would receive 100% of their property tax revenue. Small counties with large increases, such as hill station communities, would be reimbursed at 90%. Larger counties would receive 60%, meaning a smaller increase in their property tax revenue.

“Rising property values ​​lead to higher property taxes,” Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, co-sponsor of the bill, said in that same news release. “I’m thrilled to be sponsoring a bill for a $700 million property tax cut and an overall net tax cut of $500 million.” Neville added that he doesn’t like taxes in general, but that property taxes are the worst kind of tax. Reducing property taxes will help families deal with inflationary pressures and is much needed in Colorado. .”

The second tax relief bill, Senate Bill 233, won preliminary House approval on Thursday. The measure would send about $400 to each taxpayer in late summer or early fall. The bill awaits a final vote in the House on Friday and, if approved, will return to the Senate for its consideration of House amendments.

The legislation backed by the Polis administration taps into surpluses from the Taxpayer Bill of Rights that were already due to be paid out in 2023 and sends them to taxpayers this year. The administration also refuted claims that the refund — which residents will get just as political campaigns heat up for the November election — is an election-year ploy, insisting that the Coloradans need relief now from the high costs of housing, fuel and food.

Under current law, taxpayers would receive their TABOR refund in the spring of 2023. Polis, with the support of legislative leaders, plans to change the timeline by sending the money to taxpayers in August this year – just over two months away. before the November elections. and just before the big campaign ads start hitting voters’ phones, social media, mailboxes, and TV and computer screens.

Michael Fields, president of the conservative Advance Colorado Institute think tank, earlier noted the timing of the refund.

“It’s money that should be refunded anyway. They just changed the way it’s refunded — and sends it before the election,” he told Colorado Politics. “This is an election year ploy to try to make Coloradians forget about all the fees and taxes Democrats have passed over the past 3 years.”

Proponents of the bill countered that Colorado residents need the money now, not later.

“Struggling families will get more money, and they’ll get it back sooner to help pay for gas, groceries, rent and daily necessities,” said Rep. Tony Exum, Sr., D-Colorado Springs, in a statement. “We’re delivering this relief as soon as we can because people are struggling now, and we can deliver it in a fair and more equitable way that helps people sooner.”

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