photo by Amanda Brauchler
Amendment B: Repeal the Gallagher Amendment of 1982
BACKGROUND: The Gallagher Amendment of 1982 established that the state must maintain a residential property tax to non-residential property tax ratio of 45% to 55%. Under the Gallagher Amendment, non-residential tax, the category under which personal property falls, must have an assessment rate of 29% (ColoradoSun). To establish the 45:55 residential:non-residential property tax ratio, initially in 1982, this put residential tax assessment rates at about 21%. As home values have increased since then, this value has had to decrease (and has to about 7.15%) to keep residential property taxes as comprising 45% of state property tax (ColoradoSun).
WHAT A VOTE “YES” MEANS: Voting YES repeals the Gallagher Amendment, which would allow the Colorado state government to increase property taxes, which would mean increasing funding for local government establishments (Ballotpedia).
EXPLANATION: According to Douglas County, property taxes fund entities in the county from which they were collected specifically. If these taxes are increased with abolishment of the Gallagher Amendment, there would be more funding for establishments funded by county revenue, such as schools, law enforcement, roads (Douglas County).
WHAT A VOTE “NO” MEANS: Voting NO keeps the Gallagher Amendment, meaning that residential property tax assessment rates would stay lower than non-residential property tax assessment rates.
EXPLANATION: This protects homeowners and monitors the amount they pay in taxes; however, it means decreased funding for schools, law enforcement, and roads (Ballotpedia). The amount of taxes paid is equal to the assessment value times the tax rate. The assessment value is equal to the actual property value multiplied by the assessment rate (Douglas County). Thus, if home values rise at a more rapid rate than non-residential property values, the less the residential property tax assessment rate has to be in order to maintain a consistent 45%:55% ratio of residential:non-residential tax assessment rates.