Property owners, tenants, business organizations, and government district associations were not included in the Propostion HH (Senate Bill 23-303) negotiations as it was rushed through the Colorado legislature in the waning days of the session. In addition, legislative debate over the measure was cut off, which led to the House Republicans walking off the floor on the last day of the session.
One of the Prop HH sponsors, State Representative Chris deGruy Kennedy pointed his finger at Governor Polis, “I’m also frustrated by the Gov’s lack of stakeholding,” he wrote in a text message with a lobbyist, acquired under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA).
Now that the nearly 50 pages worth of Proposition HH financial impacts are being dissected, opposition to the measure is steadily growing.
- The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) polled their members in August. Nine of out of ten members oppose Prop HH.
- The Colorado Municipal League (CML) board of directors voted to oppose Prop HH and issued a press release September 1.
- The Colorado Special Districts Association (SDA) vehemently opposed the measure during the legislative hearings. The SDA board formally opposed Prop HH on August 7, and is offering an opposing resolution template for members at their website.
- Club 20, representing Western Slope individuals, businesses, town, and county governments resolved to oppose, per State Senator Barbara Kirkmeyer, who attended the forum speaking against Prop HH.
At least 17 counties joined the lawsuit to halt Proposition HH from appearing on the ballot. The lawsuit was dismissed when Judge David Goldberg ruled that the court didn’t have jurisdiction to interfere with an ongoing legislative process. The lawsuit was based upon several legal issues, including violation of the single-subject constitutional clause.
One single issue committee Property Tax Relief Now is supporting Prop HH, described by a Colorado Politics reporter as being funded by “wealthy Democrats and Democratic organizations.” Funders of the pro-HH effort include large out-of-state special interests such as the Washington, DC-based Sixteen Thirty Fund, a left-wing dark-money funding group ($60,000) and the National Education Association (100,000), also based in Washington, DC.
Five ballot issue committees oppose Prop HH:
- RejectHH.com (TABOR Coalition)
- VoteNoOnHH.com (No on HH – Advance Colorado Action)
- HHsucks.com (Taxpayers for a Better Deal – Independence Institute)
- HH-No.com (Douglas Bruce)
- Americans for Prosperity Colorado Issue Committee
As we get closer to the November election, expect the opposition to Proposition HH to only get bigger.
Natalie Menten has been an activist in Jefferson County for over 20 years focusing on state and local public policy. She is a former elected RTD board member and sits on the board of directors for the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights Foundation. Contact Natalie at Coloradoengaged@gmail.com.