Letter to the editor: What do the Titanic and your property taxes have in common? | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: What do the Titanic and your property taxes have in common?

Chris Dorton

How are the famous shipwreck and your property taxes alike? One was a monumental disaster and one will be.

At the Democratic caucus March 5, I spoke with a number of our elected officials. One of the topics of discussion was residential property taxes.

My tax bill on our relatively modest home went up 25%. Since 2014, it went up a cumulative 107%. That’s an average of 13.4% annually over eight full tax years.

In talking with our elected officials, this is the tip of the iceberg. The real bite will be in the next appraisal period, which will use data through June 2021. What happened to values in your neighborhood? We could see tax increases between 40% and 60%, depending on location. So what can we do to prepare?

  • Advocate to elected officials for a statewide “senior homestead exemption” for residential property. Colorado allows a property tax exemption, which is too low, if you are older than 65 and have owned your home 10-plus years. Let’s do this for all homeowners. Local officials will say it’s up to the state. They are correct. They could advocate for a change allowing counties to enact a measure. Short-term rentals should be excluded from this exemption.
  • Press local officials to reduce mill levies
  • Contact state officials and press for short-term rental taxation as commercial businesses. That’s what they are. This generates additional funds to enact a statewide tax exemption.
  • Don’t allow government organizations to exempt themselves from mill levy reductions.
  • Don’t automatically approve the next tax issue on the ballot or its extension. You will get the bill.

The iceberg is looming. It’s time for elected officials to do something other than rearrange the deck chairs.

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