3 Issues That Affect Our Industry
Suggesting how members vote on ballot propositions is always a dicey affair. These issues are heavily publicized, often contentious, and highly partisan. We will avoid weighing in on most of the proposals, (even though they are very interesting issues) because things like whether noncitizens should vote, gray wolves should be introduced, state income taxes are too high, and appropriate abortion policy after the 2nd trimester do not have any unique impact on our industry. However, there are three of the propositions that are impactful to our industry and we point those out and offer voting suggestions as follows
AMENDMENT B: REPEAL OF THE GALLAGHER AMENDMENT
Various Colorado governments impose massive annual taxes on real estate. Last year those taxes totaled $11.3 billion, which was up 15% from the year before and has gone up 53% over the last five years. Property taxes are imposed based on the value of the property. Consequently, as property values go up, so do property taxes. The Gallagher amendment forces all government entities that impose a property tax to take no more than 45% of their total property tax revenue from residential properties (which includes rental properties). Historically, residential property tax values have appreciated more rapidly than commercial properties. Consequently, Gallagher has had the effect of preventing residential property taxes from increasing any faster than the appreciation on commercial property. The Gallagher Amendment has reduced residential property taxes by over $35 Billion since its enactment in 1982. The repeal of the Gallagher Amendment will immediately mean residential property taxes will be 22% higher next year, which will negatively affect housing affordability in Colorado.
PROPOSITION 113: COMPACT FOR COLORADO TO PLEDGE ITS ELECTORAL VOTES BASED ON NATIONWIDE POPULAR VOTE
The United States Constitution provides protections to states with smaller populations to ensure that those states are fairly represented in presidential elections. This proposition would require Colorado to cast its electoral votes in accordance with the nationwide popular vote, thereby making Colorado’s votes irrelevant. States like California would be the beneficiary of this proposition, as its massive population would drown the influence of low population states. This proposition would not only change the outcome of elections to whatever the coastal states want, it would greatly reduce the incentive to channel federal spending to small states like Colorado.
PROPOSITION 116: PAID FAMILY LEAVE
Federal law currently requires employers to allow up to 12 weeks unpaid leave for various personal reasons. This proposal would force both employers and employees to pay into a fund to pay people for this this time off. Paying someone not to work is expensive and unsustainable. Those that work will be asked to pay for those that don’t. The incentive for misrepresentation is obvious. As our owner and supplier members employee almost 38,0000 people, the expense of this mandate will have a significant negative effect on our industry and the affordability of rental housing.