SCR20-001 (Tate & Hansen / Esgar & Soper) Repeal Property Tax Assessment Rates
This bill refers a measure to voters on this year’s November ballot that would raise taxes on cigarettes, tobacco and, for the first time, apply a tax on nicotine vaping products. In the first two and a half years, the resulting revenue would provide relief to state budget cuts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including investments in rural schools and the State Education Fund. After that initial period, the revenue would be devoted to nicotine education and cessation programs and toward giving every child in Colorado access to early childhood education. From year one forward, funding would also be provided to existing recipients of Amendment 35 revenue to offset decreased revenue the results from the new tax.
The Children’s Campaign supports the bill. If no action is taken, estimates show that in next year’s assessment cycle residential assessment rates for property could drop from the current 7.15 percent to 5.88 percent, which would mean a $490 million annual cut to schools statewide and a $204 million cut for county governments. The Gallagher Amendment’s interaction with TABOR has over time contributed to an automatic, permanent property tax cut on homes that neither voters nor lawmakers approved. Stopping the ratchet-down of residential assessment rates that occurs every two years is necessary for the long-term fiscal health of our state.
Passed out of the House on a vote of 51-14 and now heads to the governor’s desk for signature.
June 12, 2020
The bill passed 2nd reading in the House with Amendment L.003, which revises the language of the measure that will be referred to voters. It awaits 3rd reading and final passage.