DENVER (KDVR) — The 2023 legislative session is officially wrapping up and with it comes the passage of several bills, including a potential fix to high property tax bills.
Republicans walked out of the House in the session’s final hours, upset with the Democrats’ bill on property taxes.
House Minority Leader Mike Lynch, R-Wellington, issued a statement in response.
“For 120 days, our minority caucus came to the House Chamber with the intention of collaborating despite not having a seat at the table and being told to wait outside while real decisions were being made inside. Invoking rarely — if ever — used rules doesn’t just silence us, it takes away the opportunity for the people we represent to hear what we have to say.
By walking out in protest, we sent a message to the Majority, who are mostly Metro area Democrats, that our state includes much more than the concrete and steel parts of Colorado. Our voices – that fill the Front Range and the Western Slope — deserve to have their votes counted these last 120 days.
Today, we send a message across Colorado that their voices, their children’s voices, will be heard for as long as we represent them here at the People’s House.”House Minority Leader Mike Lynch
The bill eventually passed both the House and Senate. It now heads to the governor’s desk for signature.
The governor and those who support Senate Bill 23-303 said it will provide much-needed property tax relief while ensuring local services are not hurt and also put more money toward education.
“This bill, complicated though it may be, is that way forward. It finds a balanced solution where we are delivering responsible reductions in property taxes without slashing our local governments’ abilities to do the things we count on them to do,” Speaker Pro Tempore Chris deGruy Kennedy, D-Jefferson, said.
Those against it argue the bill doesn’t do nearly enough and will just take money away from TABOR refunds instead of providing real relief. They’re also upset the bill was introduced with just a few days left to debate it.
“I think we should tell the bill sponsors, ‘No,’ Madame Speaker. I think we should tell the governor this needs to go to a special session. I think all of us should be represented in this chamber. I think if there’s a bunch of back door information and a bunch of analytics back there that we haven’t seen, because we haven’t seen it,” Rep. Richard Holtorf said.
Voters will have the final say in November when the property tax measure appears on the ballot. Conservative groups have already said they will campaign against it.