DENVER (KDVR) — Some tax relief is on the way for Coloradans across the state. Gov. Jared Polis signed bills on Monday that aim to decrease property tax assessment rates.
The new law comes after several years of proposals to bring down property taxes did not successfully bring down the taxes for most Coloradans. This new measure takes effect immediately, and unlike other efforts in the past, it has the support of Democrats, Republicans and the business community.
“The worst kind of taxes are property taxes where you are literally paying the government rent on something you bought that they didn’t help you pay for. So this is the worst kind of taxes and anything we can do to provide relief for these taxes, I’m on board,” said Republican Rep. Patrick Neville of Douglas County.
State Democrats and Republicans are hailing the newly signed law concerning property taxes as a long-awaited victory.
“Every Colorado homeowner will have their property tax rate go down,” Polis said. “In addition to that, there is an even bigger property tax cut for commercial properties because commercial properties in Colorado wind up paying, somewhat unfairly, a much higher rate. That’s because of a formula that Colorado used to use that voters finally revoked, but its legacy is still there.”
That formula was the Gallagher Amendment, which called for 55% of the state’s total property taxes to come from commercial properties and the remaining 45% from residents. Voters repealed that through Amendment B in 2020.
Then in 2021, lawmakers introduced a temporary cut in property taxes through a bill at the Capitol, lowering the property tax rates for most residential owners to 6.95% when it was 7.15%. The governor signed new legislation Monday allocating $200 million to uphold that previous obligation.
The other new law he signed will use $500 million to get that residential rate down to 6.76% and 27.9% for businesses for the next two years. Supporters say it will put a lot of money back in wallets.
“This is the first reduction in non-residential assessment rates in 40 years. That means for 40 years, the assessment rate has gone up and up for small businesses across our state and now it’s going down in a big way. That’s real savings for every business, large and small,” Polis said.
Last year’s property tax bill was put forth to stop a ballot initiative, designed to get the assessment rate even lower than lawmakers proposed. It appears this year’s measure may have been successful in doing thing same thing, with a ballot initiative calling for a cap on property tax increases removed from the ballot after this year’s bill was passed.