Currently the Gallagher amendment in Colorado requires that 55% of the state’s property tax comes from commercial property and 45% from residential.

The commercial property is set constantly at 29% (of assessed value) and the residential rate adjusts to stay consistent with the mandated 55/45 split. Currently the residential property tax is assessed on 7.2% of residential value with that number estimated to drop to 6.1% next year. As it stands today, if amendment 73 does not pass–residential property tax rates are scheduled to drop by 15%.

However, if amendment 73 passes, Gallagher will become even more complex, and will likely harm police, fire and other special district budgets in the near future. As previously stated, commercial property is taxed at 29% today. Gallagher would create a new category which would tax “school district property tax levies” at 24% for commercial and 7% for residential property.

If amendment 73 passes the assessed commercial rates for school districts and all others will be frozen at 29 and 24 in our constitution. The school district levy for residential will be locked in at 7% and the only rate that can adjust year-by-year is the non-school district residential property rate. Dollars that fund police, fire and other essential local government services. TABOR restricts that number from ever ratcheting up, so it can only go down. Putting police and fire personnel in the crosshairs.

We need to pay teachers more and provide our students with more educational options. Amendment 73 doesn’t do that, robbing Peter to pay Paul is not the Colorado way.