Prop HH In-depth

This measure is complex, wrapped up in 48-pages of money shuffling. Your wallet gets lighter and the government’s get fatter.

If you’re looking for the short and sweet Proposition HH summary, go here.

If you want more information about the shenanigans leading up to here – keep reading.

Promises not kept

Governor Polis pledged meaningful property tax relief during his January 2023 State of the State Address but that was a hoax. Instead, we’re being handed the Proposition HH rip-off which cheats us out of our consent forever. It’s not disclosed in the ballot question but the measure will also allow government to grow faster than the annual automatic increases that TABOR already generously allows.

Political Shenanigans

There’s a habitual trend here of some politicians not caring about protecting taxpayer’s best interests. We’ve been down this road before. In 2021, an extremely popular citizen-initiative was presented to reduce property tax assessment rates, saving homeowners and other property owners over $1 billion dollars a year. After the citizen-initiated measure was well on its way to the ballot, lawmakers knee-capped the petition drive using treacherous political stunts.

“…Prop 120 was gutted — by the treachery of the Colorado General Assembly.
Back in June, when the COVID-delayed 2021 legislature was winding down, lawmakers pulled a stunt that was beneath even their usual, low standard for integrity. What they did was a slap in the face to all Colorado taxpayers and a betrayal of the basic democratic principles they all claim to hold dear.”

Denver Gazette Editorial
October 24, 2021

A slap in the face and now we get Prop HH?

Now those same politicians who slapped voter’s faces in 2021 are trying to force us into a corner in 2023 so they can grab our TABOR refunds. The politicians could have passed property tax relief measures this last spring session without voter approval. They refused to do that.

Senate Bill 23-107 – Seniors and Veterans with Disabilities Property Tax Exemption (killed in Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Feb. 09, 2023, yes vote indicates they wanted to kill property tax relief)

House Bill 23-1054 – Property Valuation (apply tax cap between years 2022-2025) (killed in House Finance Committee March 9, 2023 – yes vote indicates they wanted to kill tax caps)

These elected “representatives” waited until the last minute, ramming Prop HH (Senate Bill 23-303) through the legislature with just one week left in the session.

Public discussion and debate, even among the elected body was cut off. Several democrats and all of the republicans criticized the measure.

Colorado Politics 5/11/2023

Proposition HH is a complex 48-page tax hike written by politicians to eliminate your Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights refunds. There’s no sunset clause – you forfeit your right to vote in the future. The list of flaws in this bill is long, starting with how the ballot question will read, especially for voters voting at the last minute who haven’t carefully and closely examined the undisclosed consequences.

This is the slicked-up con question you’ll see on your 2023 ballot:

The vague term “state surplus” is our Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights income tax rebates.

The new Prop HH “Cap” allow the state government to grow faster than the annual automatic increases of inflation-plus-population as required under TABOR, by adding an additional 1% every year. That’s compounded year after year.

The ballot question doesn’t inform you that the property tax reduction is minimal compared to the historic and enormous property tax hikes. It doesn’t tell you that local governments can easily opt out of the cap simply by voting as an elected body and won’t go before the voters. There’s no warning that if you vote for Prop HH – you forfeit your right to vote in the future! Renters especially get the raw deal in this gimmick.

Don't trust Proposition HH
Prop HH ridiculed by media.

Political analysts and the media called the governor out about this attempt to hoodwink voters. Kyle Clark, 9News Next Anchor, commented: “Democratic Governor Jared Polis’ is pitching a plan to keep property taxes from spiking not quite as much as they would by using some of your money that would have been refunded to you anyway. Polis wants to take a dollar from your wallet, put it in your pocket and tell you that he saved you money.”

Lawsuit over Prop HH ballot question:

12 counties along with Advance Colorado have filed a lawsuit to challenge this measure. Channel 7 reports here

Why is Proposition HH on the ballot when they could have passed property tax relief without voter approval?

It’s simple:
Anti-TABOR politicians want us to give up our TABOR refunds and that requires a vote.