DENVER (KDVR) — A group says it has collected more than 220,000 signatures for a new ballot initiative in Colorado that would set aside hundreds of millions of dollars each year to dedicate to building more affordable housing.
The initiative would dedicate 0.1% of income tax revenue that would go toward the general fund every year, totaling roughly $300 million, and divert that money to an affordable housing fund that goes toward building more units and affordable homes.
The group, Make Colorado Affordable, claims the designated funds would increase affordable housing stock by 3% each year and could lead to 170,000 affordable homes and rental units being built over the next 20 years.
Advocates for the measure, including Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver Executive Director Heather Lafferty and Housing Colorado Executive Director Brian Rossbert, discussed the new measure Thursday morning.
If the measure makes the ballot and passes, local governments would have to apply through the Department of Housing or Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. The application would have to include a commitment to increase the number of affordable units by 3% annually. Those communities must also incentivize things like high-density housing, mixed-income housing and affordable housing in areas where it barely exists.
Advance Colorado Action, a conservative group that advocates for smaller government, released a statement in opposition to Initiative 108. The group’s senior advisor, Michael Fields, is FOX31 and Channel 2’s political analyst and a Republican strategist.
You would think that with bipartisan support for our $750 TABOR refund checks this year, liberal special interests would back off their push to go after that money. But that’s not the case.
There is nothing ‘affordable’ about taking $300 million of our TABOR tax refunds for a flawed housing measure. To fix our state’s housing crisis, we need to build more, not tax more. Coloradans are struggling – and they want their full TABOR refund in upcoming years.Michael Fields
When asked how the diverted general fund revenue would impact TABOR and specifically TABOR refunds to taxpayers, president of Gary Community Ventures and former state Sen. Mike Johnston said, “By the voters approving the use of that, that de-Bruces that $300 million, which means that doesn’t count towards the TABOR cap anymore so there’s now $300 million more space that allows $300 million in what could be refunds to drop into the general fund so the general fund stays whole.”
You can watch the announcement on FOX31 NOW in the player above.