With theon the November ballot, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis called for a to address property tax relief and after four days of discussion and debate, Polis signed the bill into law Monday night.
The bill that passed was sponsored by Democrats and the vote in both chambers was along party lines.
"I'm proud to provide immediate property tax relief in partnership with the legislature for all Coloradans and help those who need it the most," Polis tweeted Monday. "Thanks to these actions, more hardworking people can stay in the communities they love or grew up in."
Democratic State Rep. Javier Mabrey, of Denver, told fellow members, "we know that if we do nothing, residential tax rates are set to go up by an average of 40% this year."
The bill has now been signed into law by Polis. It provides more than $400 million in tax relief by increasing the exemption for homeowners. What was $15,000 will now go up to $55,000 in exemptions if the bill is signed. Republicans had their own plans, but the Democrats had the votes.
Rep. Rose Pugliese, a Republican from Colorado Springs, said, "I put my heart and soul into property tax, which sounds kind of weird. Of all the things you could put your heart and soul into, property tax is a strange one."
What was passed was seen as a short-term fix. For the longer term, the legislature voted to create a commission to study the problem of property tax increases.
Senate Majority Leader Steve Fenberg, a Democrat from Boulder, told the floor, "this bill is not going to have an immediate impact on anyone's life, anyone's property taxes. It's about the long-term situation."
Less tax revenue means less money to spend, but the legislation promises to protect funding for local services, like public safety departments, schools, and libraries.
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