Amid all the news about rising home prices, we’ve been seeing a lot of Facebook and Twitter posts of late from folks who are downright pissed off that their property taxes are about to skyrocket.
“How can this be?” so many of them ask, thinking that thanks to TABOR their taxes couldn’t be increased without a vote of the people.
Well, to all those confused and livid homeowners, we want you to know who is to blame: Colorado Democrats and the state’s activist high court.
Here’s a little history lesson… In 2007, then-Gov. Bill Ritter signed a bill that froze property tax rates in most of the state’s school districts. Prior to that, tax rates dropped every time property values increased.
After nearly two years of litigation, the Colorado Supreme Court ultimately upheld the property tax rate freeze – even though a district court judge had rightly ruled it unconstitutional. It was judicial activism at its worst, and the Colorado Supreme Court has been doing everything in its power to chip away at TABOR ever since.
For a few years, most people didn’t notice their taxes go up because we were in a recession. In fact, a lot of people saw their taxes decrease. However, now that property values in the metro-area are soaring at a record pace it is taking a big bite out of people’s wallets.
Rolling back this property tax rate freeze was a hot topic for several years after it was passed. Tom Tancredo spoke about it often during his run for governor in 2010. Sadly, the issue has since fallen off the radar. But with so many homeowners across the state getting hit with massively bigger tax bills, we suspect this issue might rear its head once again.