By RAY SCOTT
Amendment B will increase taxes and hurt homeowners, renters, communities, and local services. Repealing the Gallagher Amendment removes budgetary control from localities, giving the legislature power over funding for local services, and creates Colorado’s largest tax increase.
We could pay $500 million in property taxes next year. The average Colorado resident will see a 10%-20% increase in taxes, with regard to home values, assessment rate, and mill levies by counties and special districts. Gallagher has already saved $35 billion. Why, especially after an unpredictable year for our economy and society, would we ruin that by passing Amendment B?
While Amendment B freezes assessment rates for all residents owning or renting in Colorado, including business owners. Business property rates will remain at 29%, thus providing no change or relief for small and big businesses. Instead, repealing Gallagher doles out a bigger tax bill for everyone, harming middle- and lower-class homeowners and renters, many of whom are teachers, firefighters, health-care workers and so on.
The proposition doesn’t specify rates are subject to change in 2022 based on home values, inflation and the legislature. We don’t know what next year will look like. The economy, elected officials and the housing market could drastically change. By keeping Gallagher, we’re ensuring residents won’t pay an arm and a leg for their property taxes.
We shouldn’t pass a statewide proposition that will unfairly affect Coloradans — especially localities. Budget decisions from taxes are made at the local level. Without Gallagher, that shifts to the state, but lawmakers don’t know what specific localities need. New school? New fire truck? They’re too disconnected to adequately manage local services. If lawmakers want to repeal the Gallagher Amendment, then we should have a replacement plan that will support local funding while protecting residents from high property taxes.
Sen. Ray Scott is a Republican member and the Minority Whip of the Colorado Senate, representing District 7.