Amendment # 32

Nov 022003
Authors: James Baetke

With elections on Nov. 4,voters can cast their vote on the

debate over freezing property taxes.

Amendment 32 is aimed at freezing property taxes at 8 percent to

help balance taxes among commercial and residential property.

Currently, residential taxes are based on 45 percent of the state’s

annual property tax bill and commercial property makes up 55


These percentages are based on the Gallagher Amendment of 1982

which hamper’s the state’s ability to fund services to all

taxpayers, especially in difficult budget times.

Opponents say freezing the rates will force residential owners

to pay ever-increasing property taxes while proponents say this

will better equal out the taxes on commercial business, who say

they have unfairly taken on the burden of higher taxes.

Under the proposed amendment, residential property tax

assessment rates will freeze at 8 percent and as the value of a

property increases over time, taxes will increase. Commercial rates

will remain at 29 percent.

Tim Tracy, the president of the Greeley/Weld Chamber of

Commerce, said businesses have been faced with higher taxes and

“paying more of the share” because the housing market has

increased. With more houses, the less taxes homeowners pay as a

whole, Tracy said.

“(Amendment 32) is one step in the right direction. It

stabilizes the system,” Tracy said.

For 2005, a house valued at $220,800, would require owners to

pay $1,219 in taxes based on the amendment proposal. This is a $6

increase from the current assessment rate at 7.96 percent.

As home values increase over time the total taxes owed increase.

For the same value house in 2006/2007 there would be a $58

difference between the current and proposed assessment rates and a

$119 difference in 2008/2009.

Some residents will see this as a tax increase.

“I’m okay with taxation, but Amendment 32 is not for me. The

current procedure on taxing is just fine,” said Robin Lahey, a Fort

Collins resident.




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