Addressing the property tax burden needs a new approach
Re: “How HH became ballot box poison,” Nov. 12 news story
As one of the majority who voted against HH, I’m becoming frustrated with the barrage of excuses from the proponents about why we voted the way we did. Although nobody is asking me, I’ll tell you. I was not “misled by far-right misinformation,” nor was I “confused by the complexity.” I figured out this shell game by myself using my vast reserve of common sense.
After three years of unprecedented economic fallout, including devastating inflation, property owners were hit with huge tax increases due to a combination of market hysteria and some creative assessments. This is going to result in a tax windfall for all entities that receive funding through property taxes.
Along comes our leadership with a plan: We’ll give you some relief for this ridiculously unfair mess, and all we’ll require in return is that you give some of it back to “backfill” these entities who are “losing” revenue in yet another attempt in our years-long effort to claw back our TABOR losses.
All these entities are losing is that huge windfall; there is no scenario under which funding would have been cut. There would still have been a significant increase in property taxes collected. To be told that the only way we could get a fair resolution was for the victims of the ludicrously high tax increase to give some back was insulting, and I voted accordingly.
Now we’ll see what they do in the legislature. If I’m not happy, I’ll be saying so again at the polls a year from now.
Dennis Roundtree, Aurora
The legislators need to ban metro districts in Colorado as they create most of the burden on our property taxes each year.
Over half of my property tax is paid to my local metro district, which is a scheme that builders and developers have come up with in order to have homeowners bear the costs of infrastructure when those costs should be included in the cost of the home when it is purchased like what happens in the majority of homes in our country.
The scheme is to load as much cost as developers can into the metro district so they can then sell the home for whatever the market will bear, and they don’t then have to pay for the costs of developing the land for the homes.
David Dickman, Aurora
Re: “Four takeaways as voters reject Prop. HH, oust DPS board members,” Nov. 9 news analysis
Jon Murray was short-sighted in his analysis of the November election results.Prop. HH was not a conservative win or a liberal loss. Rather, “thinking voters” recognized that HH was not the answer to our schools’ budget problems. This was about property taxes.
The provision for a senior discount on relocation should be in the books going forward. But inflation and population growth plus 1% to the yearly TABOR cap rise and use of the overage for undesignated school funding was clumsy. There was support for schools that was upheld on the ballot in Denver and the state. Taking away our ability as voters to have any further say was also a mistake.
The $20 million for renters’ assistance would be stagnant while rent is not. It failed to fully explain how local governments would be reimbursed for their share of lost property taxes.
And reformist Denver Public School board members shouldn’t be pitted against the teachers’ union. We need both viewpoints and for cooler heads to prevail for compromise to be made.
Deborah Mueller-Hruza, Denver