Letter to the editor: Voting yes on Amendment B will help everyone
In 2019, 37 community meetings with local citizens were held across our state to discuss opportunities for improving Colorado’s constitutional fiscal policy. The meetings were hosted by Build A Better Colorado, a nonpartisan project that does not advocate for any specific policy solutions.
A consensus recommendation from last year’s statewide conversation was to repeal the Gallagher Amendment from Colorado’s constitution. Over 72% of the 1,800 participants supported this idea, including 73% of Democrat, 66% of Republican, and 70% of unaffiliated participants. Subsequently, almost 80% of our state legislature referred Amendment B which repeals the Gallagher Amendment to our ballot with similar bipartisan support.
The statewide coalition that is now rallying behind Amendment B includes labor and business groups, education and local government leaders, rural and urban voices and political leaders from across the political spectrum.
Why are leaders across the state supporting the repeal of the Gallagher Amendment?
The Gallagher Amendment was created in 1982. It inserted a formula into our state constitution which results in constantly lowered residential property taxes and constantly increasing property tax burdens on all other property owners. Currently, small businesses, ranchers and farmers across our state have a tax burden 4 times higher on the same value of property!
Gallagher is also shrinking funding for vital services. Rural budgets are hit especially hard. Perversely, increasing property values in Metro Denver result in budget cuts for rural schools, libraries, fire and police departments and county services.
Repealing Gallagher will stabilize funding for community services in Summit County, stop the unfair shift in our property tax burden to small businesses and farmers and freeze the property tax rate for homeowners which is now the third lowest in the nation. Residential property tax rates cannot be raised without voter approval.
Please vote Yes on Amendment B!
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