Gallagher led to $35 billion in residential property tax cuts. Now Colorado lawmakers want voters to repeal it.
n a desperate attempt to stave off further budget calamity, state lawmakers are fast-tracking a landmark ballot measure that would ask voters to repeal the Gallagher Amendment — the property tax-limiting constitutional provision that has provided an estimated $35 billion in tax relief to Colorado homeowners since 1983.
The bipartisan proposal — which requires a legislative supermajority to pass — represents the nuclear option for tackling Gallagher, a sign that the growing economic crisis is upending long-held assumptions about what is politically feasible in tax-averse Colorado. It is also an indication of just how desperate state lawmakers have become as they face an economic abyss unlike any other in their lifetimes.
Last week, state budget writers put the finishing touches on a proposed spending plan that cuts $3 billion this year and next. And earlier in May, lawmakers learned that Gallagher could trigger an 18% residential property tax cut, which would mean an additional $491 million in cuts to schools and $204 million in cuts to county governments starting in July 2021.
After years of political hand-wringing over Gallagher’s effects on public services across the state, lawmakers said the possibility of a massive tax cut in the middle of a pandemic finally represented a bridge too far.
“We’re in an unprecedented moment,” said Sen. Chris Hansen, a Democrat from Denver. “And when that happens, some of the business-as-usual hurdles often fall away.”
Read more via The Colorado Sun.
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