JOINT RELEASE: Bill Sponsors React to Amendment B Results, Gallagher Repeal Passage
Denver, CO – After record turnout across the state, Colorado voters have resoundingly approved Amendment B – winning by a margin of roughly 14 points. Amendment B repeals the Gallagher Amendment, which establishes a ratio between residential and non-residential property tax assessment rates. By repealing Gallagher, approximately $500 million annually will be protected for schools, hospitals, fire districts, and other community services without tax burdens unfairly shifting to small businesses.
“I am so thrilled that a majority of Coloradans reached the conclusion that our property tax code was outdated, and acted to reform our Constitution to make sure it’s working for us all,” said Senator Chris Hansen, one of the prime sponsors of the measure. “With the pandemic, wildfires, and virtual learning, our healthcare workers, firefighters, and teachers have been working overtime for us, and passing Amendment B will help make sure they receive the funding they need.”
Amendment B was placed on the ballot by Senate Concurrent Resolution 001, a measure sponsored by Senators Chris Hansen (D-Denver) & Jack Tate (R-Centennial), and Representatives Daneya Esgar (D-Pueblo) & Matt Soper (R-Delta). With local jurisdictions throughout the state facing severe losses due to the pandemic while community needs are increasing, repealing Gallagher became an obvious choice to help alleviate the problem.
“The idea of tax fairness and stability is neither a Democratic or a Republican idea, it is a common-sense idea,” said Senator Tate. “Small businesses are struggling during the economic recession caused by the pandemic, but now they’ll have a lot more breathing room moving forward to get back to creating jobs and economic opportunity for all Coloradans.”
SCR20-001 was passed in June by a bipartisan super-majority of 74% of the General Assembly. Though bipartisan legislation is common, it is rare to have such overwhelming support for a measure such as this.
“As the Chair of the Joint Budget Committee, I saw how painful it was for our state to have to cut billions of dollars from our budget. We turned over every stone to protect funding for the core services our communities need to get through this pandemic, like funding for our schools and healthcare,” said Representative Esgar. “Now that Gallagher has been repealed, our state and county governments can breathe a little easier knowing they won’t be facing drastic cuts to the services Coloradans need.”
Along with SCR20-001, the legislature passed Senate Bill 20-223, which ensures that property tax assessment rates will remain frozen to stabilize revenue collected in special districts, which will help keep rural communities afloat.
“Rural hospitals, fire districts, and schools have been hit particularly hard by Gallagher, because we simply don’t have the large, commercial property tax base to support our local services,” said Representative Matt Soper. “Now that Gallagher is repealed, we’ll be able to fund rural hospitals, fire districts and other essential services that the Western Slope depends on.”
About the Colorado Senate Democrats
The 19-member Senate Democratic Caucus for the 2020 legislative session includes Senators Leroy Garcia, Kerry Donovan, Pete Lee, Tammy Story, Julie Gonzales, Stephen Fenberg, Rachel Zenzinger, Jessie Danielson, Dominick Moreno, Brittany Pettersen, Jeff Bridges, Faith Winter, Nancy Todd, Joann Ginal, Mike Foote, Angela Williams, Rhonda Fields, Chris Hansen and Robert Rodriguez.