What is a TABOR refund?
The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) in Colorado’s constitution limits the growth in state taxes and requires voter approval for tax increases. When the state collects more taxes than they’re allowed to keep under the constitutional amendment, they must refund the excess to taxpayers.
Last year TABOR returned $750 to every Colorado taxpayer. This year, it is expected to return over $800, but only if voters reject Proposition HH.
Would Prop HH lower my property taxes?
No. Property taxes would rise the most in state history under Proposition HH. The amount of that increase will depend on each property owner’s individual circumstances.
The legislature caused this historic tax increase by repealing the Gallagher Amendment from the state constitution. Before its repeal in 2020, the amendment ensured residential property taxes rose slower than home values. Because of its repeal, the impending rise in property taxes reflects the rise in property values from 2020 to 2022.
Proposition HH would lock in the historic rise in property taxes caused by repealing the Gallagher Amendment and ensure property taxes always grow at the same pace as property values. Under Gallagher, the residential assessment rate would be between 4.5% and 5% this year and it would continue to drop in the future as home values rise. Because Gallagher was repealed, the rate is now 6.765%. Proposition HH would permanently fix the rate at 6.7%.
If you count the property tax changes as a tax reduction relative to current law, Proposition HH still produces a NET TAX INCREASE. Because of the increase in state taxes caused by changes to TABOR, the Common Sense Institute estimates Proposition HH would result in a net tax increase of over $20 billion through 2040.
Does Proposition HH increase state taxes?
Proposition HH would increase state taxes by increasing the limit on how much the state can tax and spend. This is the only reason the legislature referred the measure to the ballot: the state needs voter approval to raise taxes. Proposition HH would increase state taxes by up to $12.5 billion over the first decade, according to estimates by the non-partisan state economists at Legislative Council Staff. This amounts to over $5,000 for the average Colorado household just in the first decade.
If voters approve HH this year, the state will be able to continue this tax increase for as long as they wish without additional voter approval in the future. Estimates by state economists show HH would continue to increase taxes at a faster and faster pace the longer HH stays in effect. It would allow the state to collect and spend an extra $65 billion in taxes over the next 2 decades and nearly $200 billion over 3 decades.
When do we vote on HH?
Election Day is November 7th, 2023, but voters may begin casting their vote as early as October 16th when mail-in ballots start going out to voters. The deadline to register to vote online or by mail is October 30th.