Letter: Vote ‘yes’ on Amendment B
The Colorado state legislature referred in a bipartisan manner Amendment B to Colorado voters this November. Amendment B freezes the current commercial property tax assessment rate at 29% as prescribed in the outdated 1982 Gallagher Amendment and will also freeze the current residential assessment rate at 7.15%.
Since the Gallagher Amendment specified that statewide commercial taxable valuation remain at 45% of total valuation in the state, the statewide residential tax assessment rate has steadily decreased. This decrease in residential assessment rate is due to total statewide residential market valuation increasing faster than total commercial market value over all these years, thereby unfairly shifting more and more of the overall tax burden to businesses in the state.
If Colorado voters do not approve Amendment B, commercial property tax rates will remain fixed at a rate four to five times that applied to residential properties. And, as mill levies are increased to offset losses from reductions in residential rates, businesses’ share of property taxes paid in our communities will increase each year, putting even more pressure on our small and local businesses already struggling to recover from the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression in 1929.
Colorado homeowners currently enjoy the third lowest residential tax rate in the country. Homeowners will still have the Taxpayers Bill of Rights —TABOR — in place to ensure their property tax rates can only be increased by a vote of the people. Amendment B’s ability to solve a worsening problem for Colorado’s economy without raising taxes is why it has received strong bi-partisan support.
Let’s do right by our local businesses, keep our taxes low and fix an approach that no longer works for our community by joining me in voting “yes” on Amendment B.
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