Sep 14, 2023 - News

How much Proposition HH will lower Colorado property taxes

<span style="background:#98f0c0; padding:3px 5px;color:#333335;">Low</span>  and <span style="background:#009144; padding:3px 5px;color:#fff;">high</span> estimates of average property tax savings from Prop. HH
Data: Colorado Legislative Council; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

The Proposition HH question on this November's ballot asks Colorado voters to make a high-stakes tradeoff.

  • The state will lower property tax rates for 10 years — if you give back part of your expected refund under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights.

Driving the news: What the tax measure will mean emerged this week as nonpartisan legislative economists finalized their projections for the voter guide known as the Blue Book.

By the numbers: For 2023 and 2024 combined, Prop. HH would mean nearly $400 in property tax savings for homeowners with residences valued at $100,000, the new estimates show.

  • The size of the reduction increases proportionally to between $648 and $1,013 for properties worth $1 million.
  • The lower assessment rates would provide savings for eight more years under the plan, with smaller tax breaks starting in 2025.

The big picture: Property taxes will continue to increase, but the ballot measure will soften the blow.

  • Statewide, the property tax savings collectively amount to $400 million in 2024 and increase to $1 billion in 2026.

Be smart: Local governments and school districts collect property taxes — not the state — and the money goes toward local services, ranging from police and road maintenance to classrooms.

  • Democratic lawmakers approved temporary property tax cuts in recent years without going to the ballot, but this time paired them to TABOR spending increases in the hopes of getting them passed.

The intrigue: The ballot question puts a cap on future property tax revenue collections for most local governments — but allows them to waive the limit by a board vote, rather than a public referendum, as is the typical practice.

  • The higher estimates for property tax savings would only be realized if your local government abides by the cap and does not opt out. Right now, local entities are split on the ballot question.

Details: If Prop HH passes, residents age 65 and older who qualify for the senior homestead exemption — which exempts 50% of the first $200,000 in value — will see the same savings and be able to get the same benefit if they move.

  • Rental properties and second homes will see property tax savings decrease starting in 2025.
  • The property tax break for businesses vary widely based on the type of property, with the largest breaks going toward renewable energy operations on agricultural land.

Read more: How much Prop. HH will cut TABOR refunds in Colorado


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