Proposition HH: Reduce property taxes and retain state revenue
If approved, Proposition HH would reduce property taxes while allowing the state to keep money that would otherwise be distributed to individuals under Colorado’s so-called Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). The measure would authorize the retention of those dollars through at least 2032 without voter approval, while placing a new property tax limit for most local governments. Retained funding would support education, rental assistance programs and reimbursements for local governments to cover reduced property tax revenue.
Tax relief for home and business owners amid historical spikes in residential property values will be an obvious selling point for many Colorado voters. The measure would also make it more feasible for older homeowners to downsize, which is a clear and substantial benefit for cities like Boulder whose populations are rapidly aging.
But our endorsement for Prop HH has less to do with the financial burdens of home ownership and more to do with securing the robust funding needed to support public education and rental assistance. Since its passage in 1992, the regressive stranglehold of TABOR has put a hard ceiling on what’s possible in the Centennial State by holding public investment hostage in favor of a fleeting payday. Colorado voters should dismantle this libertarian fantasy of what it means to live together in a society, and this measure is a good place to start.
Proposition II: Retain nicotine tax revenue in excess of Blue Book estimate
Passage of this measure would authorize the state to retain and allocate $23.65 million in tax revenue already collected with interest from the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco and nicotine products. This money would be used to support the state’s universal preschool program. If voters do not approve Proposition II, this potential funding would be returned to industry wholesalers and distributors through direct refunds, temporary tax cuts or credits, or another method to be determined by the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Our decision to endorse Proposition II was a no-brainer. The endorsement hangs on a basic question: Who deserves this money — tobacco companies or our kids? The answer is clear, especially when you consider how funding would be used to help some of our most vulnerable children. In addition to providing part-day preschool programming for students in the year before kindergarten, revenue kept and spent under the measure would provide the same for all three- and four-year-olds with disabilities, plus additional preschool programming for low-income families and at-risk kids.
Passage of this measure would retain the current tax rates on these products that were previously approved by a two-thirds majority of voters in 2020. Let others clutch their pearls over “government expansion” and corporate taxes. We know what’s right for our young people, and it’s a big fat Yes on Prop II.