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Colorado voters reject Proposition HH, Associated Press calls

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Posted at 8:18 PM, Nov 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-07 22:23:47-05

DENVER — Despite seeing home values soar by double digits, Colorado voters have rejected Proposition HH.

The Associated Press called the Proposition HH race less than an hour after polls closed.

Democrats in the Colorado General Assembly, along with Gov. Jared Polis, pushed Proposition HH as immediate relief for property owners facing huge property tax increases. Home values rose as much as 45% in the Denver area and even more in parts of the mountains.

In exchange for property tax relief, Proposition HH would have allowed the state to keep some of the money that would otherwise go back to taxpayers in the form of TABOR refunds. Instead, the state would use this surplus money to “backfill” or replace funding for counties, fire, ambulance, hospital, and school districts that depend on property taxes.

Nonpartisan analysts with the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly said if Proposition HH passed, a homeowner with a home valued at $500,000 would see their property tax increase decline anywhere from $186 to $276 dollars for this tax year. That would be followed by another reduction in the increase in 2024.

As for TABOR refunds, those same nonpartisan analysts said every Colorado taxpayer, regardless of income, would get an equal amount next year — which was estimated to be $898.

Lower-income earners, many of whom are renters, would have seen the biggest increase in TABOR refunds. However, higher earners, starting with those making over $99,000, will see a decrease in their TABOR refunds.

Legislative Council analysts said everyone would see a decrease in TABOR refunds in 2024 and 2025.

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2023 Colorado Coordinated Election Results

Critics feared that savings from lower property tax bills would eventually be outweighed by the elimination of TABOR refunds, which returned $750 to each taxpayer last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.