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Groups file Colorado ballot measure to cut, cap property taxes

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(The Center Square) – Two Colorado groups are joining efforts on a ballot measure that proposes cutting property tax assessment rates and capping tax increases at 4%.

The measure was filed last week by Colorado Concern, a group of business executives, and Advance Colorado, a conservative advocacy organization. The measure would reduce property tax rates and cap revenue from future property tax increases at 4%. Governments seeking to collect more than 4% would require voter approval. The proposal also would allocate 75% of the tax relief to residential and homeowners and give the remaining 25% to businesses.

“Our ballot measure is balanced and thoughtful – we very intentionally protected funding increases for teachers, firefighters and other local districts, but we did so in a way that will end these crushing property tax increases once and for all,” Colorado Concern CEO Dave Davia said in a statement announcing the initiative and the partnership. “We’re going to build a broad-based campaign, and we fully expect the voters of Colorado to resoundingly support the plan in November.”

Colorado Concern supported Proposition HH, which was voted down last November, while Advance Colorado opposed it. The measure would have reduced residential property tax assessment rates to 6.7% and used Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights refunds to replace lost tax revenue.

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis called a special session after the election and four laws were passed lowering residential and commercial assessment rates. Senate Bill 23B-001 lowers the state’s residential assessment rate from 6.765% to 6.7%.

The new measure would cut property assessment rates to 5.7% and lower the commercial assessment rates from 29% to 25.5%.

“This will provide over $2 billion in immediate savings for taxpayers,” Advance Colorado President Michael Fields told The Center Square. “This version also has a 4% cap like our other measure and it makes the state government backfill local districts.”

Advance Colorado also led a drive to place Initiative #50, called the “Voter Approval to Retain Additional Property Tax Revenue,” on the ballot this November. The measure would change the Colorado Constitution to cap property tax increases at 4%.

“Coloradans across the political spectrum have made it crystal clear that they want significant and lasting property tax relief,” Fields said in a joint statement with Colorado Concern. “Our measure rolls back the largest property tax increase in state history and then puts a cap in place to ensure that taxpayers won’t be hit with such huge tax increases in the future. This initiative ensures that government won’t grow faster than taxpayers’ wages.”

The groups will be required to collect enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

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