Chambers of Commerce encourages members and community to vote no
LOVELAND, CO- On the heels of their sponsored forum on the pros and cons of Proposition HH, the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance, the joint public policy arm of the Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley Chambers of Commerce with Upstate Colorado Economic Development, has taken an official oppose position to Proposition HH and recommends its Chamber members and community to vote no on the proposition this November. Notably, while the NCLA opposes HH it strongly believes an alternative property tax approach is necessary to address the undue burden taxpayers are enduring and avoid a government spending free for all.
“After a deep dive consideration of the pros and cons of Proposition HH, NCLA thoughtfully factored the economic impact of Proposition HH to our business community and our community at large to conclude that Proposition HH is the wrong policy approach to address the burdensome increase in property taxes,” said Jaime Henning, President/CEO of the Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce. “There is a better way. Colorado should reject Proposition HH and let’s get back to the drawing board to address Colorado’s property tax policy meaningfully and transparently.”
The NCLA, and its member organizations, oppose Proposition HH for a myriad of reasons, including the following:
- It is effectively a tax increase1, growing the state budget by up to $2.2 billion over the next 8 years.
- Locks in a 10-year policy change that could have unintended consequences or become outdated as the economy and property market change over time. It would limit the flexibility and accountability of future lawmakers and voters to adjust the tax system as needed.
- Reduces or eliminates2 TABOR refunds for taxpayers, which are expected to be significant in the next few years, in the range of $2.8 billion, due to the strong economic recovery from the pandemic. This could reduce the disposable income and spending power of consumers and businesses in the state. The proposed approach could create a redistribution of income that could affect some businesses more than others.
- Creates more complexity and uncertainty in the property tax system, which could make it harder for businesses to plan and budget for their tax obligations affecting business operations and profitability.
- Proposition HH would introduce multiple changes to the property tax system that are not well understood by the public/businesses or policymakers, such as creating new subclasses of residential property, creating a new limit on local government property tax revenue, and requiring annual appropriations for backfilling revenue. These changes could create more administrative costs and challenges for businesses, local governments, and assessors.
- An alternative approach is necessary. The burden placed upon residential and commercial property owners in this property tax cycle is untenable for many and unreasonable for most. Further, the amount of property tax revenue that will fall to the myriad of taxing districts will be excessive- upwards of a 20-30% increase- and unnecessary for most and could result in spending in programs that require a sustained spend and growth in government. NCLA opposes HH but strongly believe an alternative approach is necessary to address the burden to taxpayers while avoiding a government spending free for all. Furthermore, the current situation presents a unique opportunity to meaningfully reduce assessment rates for commercial property while restoring the lower rates for residential prior to repeal of Gallagher. Certainty in tax policy is essential for a healthy economic climate.
At the end of September, the NCLA, through the Fort Collins Chamber initiative, NOCO Housing Now, hosted a forum featuring proponents and opponents of Proposition HH as well as northern Colorado legislators including Senator Joann Ginal, Senator Barb Kirkmeyer, House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, Representative Cathy Kipp and Representative Andrew Boesenecker. The forum was moderated by Denver Post political reporter Nick Coltrain. The entire forum is provided here for voter consideration.
- Common Sense Institute, Proposition puts Tabor Refunds a Risk., October 9, 2023 ↩︎
- Common Sense Institute, Proposition HH: The Taxpayer Dilemma, August 16, 2023 ↩︎
Contact: Sandra Hagen Solin