Proposition HH was rejected by voters this week. While it would have provided some property tax relief, it also would have increased the state spending limit by keeping some of the revenue surplus normally refunded under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
Property owners would have had some immediate property tax relief with reduced rates, but an analysis by the Common Sense Institute found that, eventually, TABOR refunds would be reduced more than the reduction of property taxes.
After Prop HH’s failure, Gov. Jared Polis called the General Assembly to meet for a special legislative session later this month, saying: “We need to act for short-term property relief now.” But without Prop HH or legislative action on high property tax bills, what would be at stake?
A CSI analysis found that, under current law, increased property tax bills could result in a drag on the Colorado economy in multiple ways.
CSI: Property tax revenue growing higher, faster
FOX31 spoke with Chris Brown, CSI’s vice president of policy and research, about the analysis. Brown said the institute’s researchers used REMI, an economic modeling and forecasting software, to analyze the effects increased property tax payments could have under current law.
Historically, property tax revenue has had an annual growth rate of 5.9%. But Brown said it’s growing much higher and faster than it has in the past.
So instead of state revenue growing $700 million with the historical rate, revenue will grow by an estimated $2.13 billion this year, bringing total revenue to $15.6 billion, according to the analysis.
CSI used REMI to estimate what impacts increased property tax payments could have on employment, gross domestic product and personal income. The analysis found a combined impact of increased property tax payments and decreased personal income would result in an estimated $1,406 loss per household.
With that money coming straight out of the property owners’ pockets, Brown said this has a drag on the economy because they are not spending that money to put it back into the economy.
This could result in 17,400 lost jobs and a $942 million reduction in state GDP, according to the analysis.
It’s important to note that those are the projected outcomes under current law, which could change with the special session scheduled to start Nov. 17. Polis is asking the legislature to provide immediate relief for Coloradans at risk of receiving 40-50% increases in their property tax bill.