COLORADO, USA — Multiple 9NEWS viewers wanted clarification on a claim in a political ad.
This is where the Next Question and Truth Tests mash-up.
Wendy, Bob in Aurora and Colleen in the Weld County side of Erie all had a question about the first claim in the political ad paid for by Polis for Colorado, the committee to reelect Gov. Jared Polis (D).
AD/CLAIM: "I got rid of taxes on Social Security income for seniors…"
VERDICT: Yes, with the caveat, "for seniors."
A 2021 bill that Polis signed allows people 65 and older to deduct all of their Social Security income from their Colorado taxable income beyond the previous limit of $24,000. People between the ages of 55 and 64, however, can only deduct up to $20,000 of Social Security income from their state taxes.
AD/CLAIM: "Cut small business taxes…"
VERDICT: Yes, one of them.
Businesses are exempt from paying taxes on personal property up to $50,000 on items like furniture, equipment, machinery and signs. The limit prior to a 2021 bill that Polis signed was $7,900.
AD/CLAIM: "Lowered property taxes for every homeowner."
VERDICT: This is not verifiable yet. It predicts the future. And it is not likely that your property tax is lowered. It is likely that your property tax will not go up as much as it would have without a bill passed by almost every Democratic and Republican lawmaker, and then signed by Polis this past year.
We covered this confusing property tax issue in May.
Using the same example, here is how to illustrate what you might expect with your property tax bill.
For a home with a county assessed value of $500,000, that number is multiplied by 6.95% to get the taxable value, which is then multiplied by the specific mill levies (school district, city, county, fire, water, parks, etc.) in your county.
In that example, your taxable value of your home is $34,750.
Using the state's mill levy average (this is an average, this is different depending on your address), the $34,750 is multiplied by 83.436 mills to come up with your property tax bill: $2,899.
In 2023, your $500,000 home will be reassessed.
Let's say the county reassesses your home value higher to about $550,000 (it could be more or less). First, to combat the increase, the bill takes $15,000 off the top and makes it tax-free. Second, the residential assessment rate reduces to 6.765%. So the calculation to determine your property's taxable value looks like this: $535,000 multiplied by 6.765%. The taxable value of that home is $36,192. That amount is then multiplied by the specific mill levies in your county. In this example, based on the state's mill levy average of 83.436 mills, your property tax bill would be $3,019.
If the $15,000 was not taken off tax-free and the assessment rate did not change, the math would be $550,000 multiplied by 6.95% for a taxable value of $38,225. When you multiple that amount by the 83.436 mills, your property tax bill would be $3,189.
In both scenarios your property tax bill would be higher than it is, but with the legislation that made some of your home value tax-free and lowered the residential assessment rate, the property tax increase is not as high as it would have been without the new law.