With much fanfare, CO legislators met in a special session to focus on…
I wrote last week about proposition HH to eliminate Tabor under the guise of property tax relief. It is a bit ironic that it was just announced that there is a new property tax initiative that qualified for the 2024 ballot, initiative 50. The new initiative would cap property taxes with a constitutional amendment. What is in the new initiative? How will this impact property owners? Is it a better solution than HH?
Why is there another property tax initiative?
Regardless of the passage or failure of HH property taxes in Colorado are going up between 30-70% depending on where you live, property type, etc.. The root cause of these huge jumps is the elimination of the Gallagher amendment which balanced residential and commercial valuations so that we did not see huge jumps year over year.
When Gallagher was eliminated it also coincided with the pandemic jump in property values leading to huge tax increases. Proposition HH will be voted on in this years election to basically give minor property tax reduction (500 dollars or so on average) and in return eliminate the taxpayer bill of rights (TABOR) and in turn any future refunds as the size of the state government is able to grow basically into perpetuity.
The new tax bill, initiative 50
AS a result of everything above, Colorado taxpayers are fed up with huge jump in property taxes and have put a new tax initiative on the 2024 ballot. Here is the summary of Colorado Initiative 50:
- IF THE TOTAL OF STATEWIDE PROPERTY TAX REVENUE IS PROJECTED TO GO UP MORE THAN 4% OVER THE PRECEDING YEAR, VOTER APPROVAL IS NEEDED FOR GOVERNMENT TO RETAIN THE ADDITIONAL REVENUE
- FOR VOTER APPROVAL OF A PROPERTY TAX REVENUE INCREASE , ANY REFERRED MEASURE MUST BE A STAND – ALONE SUBJECT . THE BALLOT TITLE SHALL READ : “SHALL PROPERTY TAX REVENUE BE INCREASED BY [ TOTAL PROJECTED INCREASE OVER THE PRECEDING YEAR] ALLOWING GOVERNMENT TO RETAIN AND SPEND PROPERTY TAX REVENUE ABOVE THE 4% ANNUAL LIMIT ON PROPERTY TAX INCREASES FOR [ DATES X TO X]?”
The new tax bill raises some interesting questions:
After reading through the bill, there are some unanswered questions in my mind as to how this will actually work.
- Values continue being assessed as they are today which means that the only other variables to adjust would be mill levy or assessment rate. How does this work on a statewide basis? Which factors are actually adjusted in order to achieve the 4% cap.
- Assume two cities Aspen and Alamosa, Aspen increases values 20% and yet Alamaso declines hypothetically 5%, assume they cap the mill levy percentages, to 4%, this means Alamosa would lose substantial tax revenue while Aspen would bump up against the 4% cap based on the new law.
- Issues based on implantation. I foresee we will create another issue that cropped up with Gallagher where lower appreciating markets begin losing tax revenue as this is done on a statewide basis.
How should initiative 50 be fixed?
Unfortunately nobody asked my opinion prior to getting the initiative on the ballot, but if anyone is reading this and it becomes law a couple changes need to be made:
- Cap indexed for inflation: if we end up in an inflationary environment we need to make sure the cap adjusts for these factors or we are going to get into a huge funding issue for schools, etc…
- Tax revenue capped at the county level: Having a statewide cap sounds great, but it should be implemented on the county level and assessors adjust the mill levies at a local level to ensure they do not exceed the 4% cap. As it is written now, we are going to see huge issues for rural areas that are not appreciating as fast as others.
Will initiative 50 pass?
Allot can happen in the next year as the legislature might come up with a better solution and the backers of 50 would pull the initiative from the ballot. But, if 50 is on the ballot, I would put the odds at 80% that it passes as Coloradoan’s are not happy about the continued hike in property taxes that is well above any measure of inflation. There is currently no other long-term solution to address the tax issue and proposition HH substantially increases taxes overall.
The legislature has created a mess by allowing property taxes to surge over the last four years with even bigger increases this last cycle. Local governments have not helped as they are keeping the windfall tax revenues (only one, Douglas county is making a minor adjustment to mill levies). Taxpayers are fed up with the tax and spend mentality which has lead to the initiative 50 on the ballot next year.
Although initiative 50 is not perfect it does draw a line in the sand at 4%/year growth so that property taxes cannot continue to accelerate at a torrid pace. If the legislature does not come up with a long term property tax solution, initiative 50 will most likely pass and greatly limit future property tax increases and in turn governmental revenue. It will be interesting to see how the Colorado property tax increases are ultimately resolved.
We are a Colorado Private/ Hard Money Lender funding in cash!
If you were forwarded this message, please subscribe to our newsletter
I need your help! Do not worry, I’m not asking you to wire money to your long-lost cousin that is going to give you a million dollars if you just send them your bank account! I do need your help though, please like and share our articles on linked in, twitter, facebook, and other social media and forward to your friends/associates I would greatly appreciate it.
Written by Glen Weinberg, Owner Fairview Commercial Lending. Glen has been published as an expert in hard money lending, real estate valuation, financing, and various other real estate topics in Bloomberg, Businessweek ,the Colorado Real Estate Journal, National Association of Realtors Magazine, The Real Deal real estate news, the CO Biz Magazine, The Denver Post, The Scotsman mortgage broker guide, Mortgage Professional America and various other national publications.
Fairview is the recognized leader in Colorado Hard Money and Colorado private lending focusing on residential investment properties and commercial properties both in Denver and throughout the state. We are the Colorado experts having closed thousands of loans throughout the Front range, Western slope, resort communities, and everywhere in between. We also live, work, and play in the mountains throughout Colorado and understand the intricacies of each market.
When you call you will speak directly to the decision makers and get an honest answer quickly. We are recognized in the industry as the leader in Colorado hard money lending with no upfront fees or any other games. Learn more about Hard Money Lending through our free Hard Money Guide. To get started on a loan all we need is our simple one page application (no upfront fees or other games)
Tags: Denver hard money, Denver Colorado hard money lender, Colorado hard money, Colorado private lender, Denver private lender, Colorado ski lender, Colorado real estate trends, Colorado real estate prices, Private real estate loans, Hard money loans, Private real estate mortgage, Hard money mortgage lender, Hard money mortgage lender, residential hard money loans, commercial hard money loans, private mortgage lender Hard Money Lender, Private lender