NewsCapitol Watch


A look back at the Gallagher Amendment and how it impacted property taxes for years

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Posted at 6:28 PM, May 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-02 20:31:00-04

COLORADO — In 2020, Colorado voters decided to repeal the state's "Gallagher Amendment".

It was put in place in 1982 and named after the legislator who authored it, Dennis Gallagher. Supporters liked it because as home values went up in the state, it lowered the rate used to calculate how much homeowners owed in property taxes.

Opponents, however, felt that it put a burden on the state to back fill funding for schools and fire services. With less money coming from local property taxes to schools, the state would put more of its dollars into the school district's coffers.

In passing the Gallagher Amendment in 1982, the residential assessment rate went from 21% to 7.15% by 2020.

The repeal of Gallagher in 2020 also froze the assessment rates at 7.15% for homeowners and 29% for most non-residential properties, like businesses.

In 2021, state lawmakers reduced the residential assessment rate, temporarily for 2022 and 2023. The rate for 2023 is currently 6.76%.

State lawmakers also created new categories for assessment rates for single family homes, multi family homes, as well as different types of properties for agriculture and renewable energy. Under the Gallagher Amendment, oil and gas companies were at a different assessment rate.

Fast forward to 2023, state lawmakers are proposing a plan, to try and reduce property taxes across the state. Part of the proposal is to reduce the residential assessment rate in 2023 and 2024 to 6.7%. This would apply to single family homes and only to primary residences, not investment properties or second homes.


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