PI Editorial: More proactive measures like CMC’s mill levy reduction could soften blow of looming property tax spike

There’s no doubt at this point that Colorado residential property owners could see a property tax reckoning next year. 

Many Garfield County residents have received valuations from the assessor’s office showing a dramatic rise in property taxes come 2024, but it’s not limited to just our community or region. Colorado voters in 2020 passed a ballot measure basically overturning TABOR, which had previously acted as a handbrake to keep property taxes from rising too quickly. Combine that with the frenzy of home buying our state saw in the pandemic years and it looks like taxes are almost guaranteed to rise by double-digits next year.

The state legislature is trying to head off the coming crisis, but it’s unclear if their efforts will be successful. Proposition HH will head to voters in November, and it could help alleviate some of the property tax increases by reducing TABOR refund checks sent out to most Colorado residents, the Colorado Sun reports. If it doesn’t pass, however, the average homeowner in Colorado could see a 62% property tax increase due in April 2024.

Closer to home and more certain to have at least some positive impact, however, is Colorado Mountain College trustees planning to lower the institution’s mill levy so that revenue stays in line with inflation and does not come in higher.

Exactly how much the mill levy will be lowered won’t be set until December 2023 when final property valuations from the district’s counties are sent out, but CMC’s forward thinking on doing what they can to help stem Colorado’s property tax tide is exactly what we need in our state. Being proactive will help property owners from being hit over the head with rising taxes while also helping institutions and politicians avoid what could be a strong backlash from voters at the polls.

Lowering the mill levy is certainly an act of faith, one which will benefit the communities they serve as opposed to one which would only benefit the institution. We applaud this fiscal responsibility and hope others will follow.

The Post Independent editorial board members are Publisher/Editor Peter Baumann and community representatives John Stroud, Mark Fishbein and Amy Connerton.

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