Colorado Special Session Comes to a Close

Last Monday, Colorado’s Special Session came to a close after four hectic days passing legislation.

The Special Session was called by Governor Jared Polis to address property taxes and to provide additional funding for social welfare programs. Bills passed by the legislature will cut property taxes by $434 million and increase taxpayer refunds for most Coloradans by redistributing money that otherwise would’ve gone to higher earners. They also redirected $185 million in surplus tax collections to expand a tax break for low-income workers, approved $30 million in rental assistance and authorized a summer meals program for low-income children that will bring in up to $42 million in federal funding.

This Special Session was a short-term fix and did not include any long term changes to Colorado’s property tax formula. Six bills were passed making temporary changes to the state tax code, while a seventh assigns a bipartisan committee to study a more lasting solution.

The legislature used two levers to provide tax relief. They reduced the residential assessment rate for the 2023 tax year to 6.7% from 6.765%. And they increased the amount of a home’s value that is exempt from taxation to $55,000 from $15,000. This change will not lower property tax bills, but instead will simply decrease the anticipated increase in Coloradans property tax burden on residences. They also passed rental assistance relief for those who can prove financial hardship and are facing eviction and expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit. Finally, they flattened TABOR refunds so low income earners will receive the same $800 refund as high income earner single filers.

As to be expected, the special session was filled with heated debate about tax policy, as well as a very tense exchange in the House regarding the conflict in Israel.

Your GoWest team took advantage of having all of the legislators in town to have some great conversations about credit union priorities for the 2024 legislative session. Thanks to Dennis Paul, VP of Govt Affairs and Strategic Relationships at Elevations Credit Union, who joined Katie March at the Capitol for the Opening Day of this special legislative session (and of course, we forgot to take a selfie!).

We will continue to have one-on-one conversations with legislators throughout December to advocate for credit unions ahead of the 2024 session. If you would like to meet with your legislator, please reach out to me at [email protected].

Posted in Advocacy on the Move, Colorado Advocacy.