DENVER — Elections in odd-numbered years are full of ballot questions asking you for money.
Proposition HH, which all voters will see on their ballot, offers you a trade.
Property taxes will likely still go up, just at a lower rate, in exchange for your Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) refund.
Significant money has already been raised in the effort to sway voters’ decisions.
When we talk about Proposition HH, think of households.
The complicated ballot issue would make some of your property value tax-free., and then it changes the math to determine your final property tax bill.
The math would likely not lower your property tax, but rather, lessen the increase you will see in future years.
In return, the state would reduce or keep your TABOR refund for at least 10 years, and perhaps forever.
As of this week, more money has been raised to fight the ballot issue.
There is one committee that has been created to get voters to say yes on Proposition HH. It is called “Property Tax Relief Now” and has received $745,020.
· $250,000 from Gary Advocacy which is the policy arm of Gary Community Ventures, the organization Denver mayor Mike Johnston led until he left it to run for mayor.
· $100,000 from philanthropist Pat Stryker
· $100,000 from National Education Association
· $100,000 from Education Reform Now Advocacy
· $50,000 from Colorado Education Association
There are four committees that have been created to get voters to say no on Proposition HH. Combined, they have raised $1,150,920.74. Most of the money has come from dark money groups that do not have to disclose their donors.
· $500,000 from Defend Colorado, which most recently supported the campaigns of Republicans Pam Anderson for Colorado Secretary of State and John Kellner for Attorney General.
· $500,000 from Advance Colorado Action
· $97,946,74 from Americans for Prosperity
· $50,000 from Boulder businessman Bill Witter
Via text, Witter explained why he contributed.
“I do think that the Colorado legislative majority and [Democratic] Gov. [Jared] Polis are not transparently or honestly presenting to Colorado voters the likely long lasting effects of HH if it passes in November,” Witter wrote. “Measly temporary property tax ‘relief’ for permanent loss of TABOR refunds.”
“Our families are impacted when we have an increase in property taxes and that impacts their ability to send their students to school ready to learn,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, president of the Colorado Education Association. “That property tax relief is important to our families and our educators, but this is also a mechanism that will protect our school funding.”
Baca-Oehlert is pushing for the ballot issue because of the potential for more education dollars.
"We're ensuring that school funding is there while we're providing property tax relief,” Baca-Oehlert said.
If Proposition HH passes, school districts will get less money than projected from your property taxes, but that will be backfilled by the state keeping some or all of your TABOR refund.
If Proposition HH fails, school districts will get the same amount of money simply from your property taxes going up.
And I want to be clear -- property tax relief is a property tax decrease. Your property tax will likely go up with or without HH -- it's just a matter of how much will it go up.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Full Episodes of Next with Kyle Clark