Colorado's Push for Property Tax Relief: What You Need to Know

Leslie MacRossie  |  November 30, 2023

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Colorado's Push for Property Tax Relief: What You Need to Know

In the wake of Proposition HH's recent defeat at the ballot box, Colorado's Democratic Governor, Jared Polis, took action by calling a special legislative session. The defeated proposition, which had been introduced earlier in the year and referred to voters by lawmakers, aimed to implement a gradual reduction in property tax rates over the course of a decade while exempting a portion of a home's assessed value from taxation. Although the proposition was rejected, it sparked crucial discussions and paved the way for Senate Bill 23B-1, an effort toward providing property tax relief for homeowners throughout the state.

Senate Bill 23B-1: Property Tax Relief for Colorado Homeowners

The cornerstone of the Democrats' legislative effort is Senate Bill 23B-1, which addresses property tax relief for Colorado homeowners. This bill introduces two significant changes aimed at easing the property tax burden on residents.

  1. Reduced Residential Assessment Rate

For the 2023 tax year, Senate Bill 23B-1 reduces the residential assessment rate from 6.765% to 6.7%. While this reduction may appear incremental, it translates into savings for homeowners, particularly in light of the rising property tax rates.

  1. Homeowner Exemption

Another key provision of the bill is the introduction of a homeowner exemption, allowing homeowners to exclude $55,000 of their home's value from taxation. This exemption equates to approximately $430 million in property tax relief, providing tangible financial support to Colorado residents. Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg underscored the significance of these measures, stating, "We're talking hundreds of dollars for the average homeowner. That's real money for a lot of people who are struggling—for people on fixed incomes, for seniors."

It's important to note that, despite these measures, property taxes will still experience an increase for homeowners in the upcoming year. However, the bill ensures that essential services such as schools, fire departments, hospitals, and ambulance authorities will be fully reimbursed for any revenue losses resulting from lower tax rates. Local governments will also receive partial reimbursements, depending on the growth of their assessment values.

Conclusion

Senate Bill 23B-1 represents a significant step forward in addressing the property tax concerns of Colorado residents. SB23B-1 was sponsored by Fenberg, Sen. Chris Hansen of Denver, House Speaker McCluskie of Dillon and Rep. Chris deGruy Kennedy of Lakewood, all Democrats.


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