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Lawsuit challenges Polis’ property tax relief bill

DENVER, Colo. (KRDO)-- A conservative political group is suing the State of Colorado over a property tax relief bill that's already passed through the legislature.

Proposition HH still needs to be decided on by voters in November, but Advance Colorado president Michael Fields says the bill should be off the ballot entirely.

Advance Colorado claims the language in Colorado Senate Bill 303 is misleading, and its' contents go against the Colorado Constitution.

"The legislature and Governor (Jared Polis) came up with an idea to basically slightly lower the increase of property taxes, but would ask you to start giving up more and more of your (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) refund," Fields says. "Eventually your TABOR refund would totally go away."

Throughout Colorado, property taxes are top of mind, as homeowners just received appraisals. In El Paso County alone, more than 7,000 appeals have been filed.

Senate Bill 303 claims to help with the increase homeowners are seeing.

"Nobody should be forced out of where they live just because the prices have gone up," Polis said at a news conference earlier this month.

The bill was introduced during the final days of the 2023 legislative session, passing through the Colorado House and the Senate.

Polis says it's a solution for those shocking appraisals.

"Under this proposal, Colorado voters will see their average property tax increase go from over $1,000 to just over $400."

But Fields' group is suing the state over the bill, adding the bill would just use money people are already owed, to pay for a decrease in property taxes.

Fields says the bill has serious legal violations too. Colorado's Constitution does not allow for bills to deal with more than one subject. The lawsuit alleges this bill violates that, dealing with property taxes and TABOR refunds.

Single subject requirement

"We think that it violates a single subject," Fields continues. "Asking about property tax relief, and in a separate measure, talking about TABOR money going to education or local governments."

The suit also claims the title of the bill, "Reduce Property Taxes and Voter-Approved Revenue Change," is misleading.

"The ballot language is very misleading. It doesn't have any numbers in it. It doesn't talk about how this is coming from TABOR refunds," Fields says.

Ultimately, voters will get to decide the fate of this bill in November when they vote on Proposition HH.

Before then though, Advance Colorado is calling for the bill to be declared unconstitutional and void. Or at the very least, for the title of Proposition HH to be corrected.

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Annabelle Childers

Annabelle is a reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about her here.


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