Polis signs bills to reduce property taxes, delay gas fees

PROMO Government - Taxes Money Calculator Word Blocks - iStock - LIgorko
Published Tuesday, May 17, 2022
by Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) - Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed several pieces of legislation into law Monday, among them bills to reduce property taxes and delay gas fees for Colorado residents. 

The bills are some of the first that the governor has signed into law after the General Assembly adjourned last week. Polis said the bills are part of the promise he made during his state of the state address in January to "save Coloradans money."

"We are delivering on our plan to help save people money with a major statewide property tax cut for every homeowner and commercial property," Polis said in a written statement. "As an entrepreneur I know every cent counts when you're getting a small business off the ground, so I am particularly thrilled that we are cutting red tape to help small business owners and making it nearly free to start a new business and reducing the burden of federal taxes on our Colorado small businesses."

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PROMO 64J1 People - Jared Polis Colorado Governor Politician
Jared Polis - elected Governor of Colorado in November 2018.

One of the bills that Polis signed temporarily delays the implementation of a phased-in gas fee that Democratic lawmakers passed last year.

Senate Bill 21-260 created a $0.02 cent per-gallon fee on gasoline and fuel usage to fund road construction projects. The fee would have gone into effect on July 1 and gradually increased to $0.08 cents per-gallon, according to the bill's text. 

Polis and Democratic lawmakers have cited inflation and increasing gas prices for suspending the new fee.

The governor also signed Senate Bill 22-238 on Monday morning which reduces the residential property tax assessment rate from 6.95 percent to 6.76 percent and the commercial property tax rate from 29 percent to 27.9 percent. 

Estimates from the governor's office say the bill will help homeowners save an average of $274 per year, assuming a home value of at least $500,000. 

"We applaud the governor and legislature for taking this decisive action to provide property taxpayers with substantial savings - likely the largest such tax reduction in Colorado history," Mike Kopp, CEO of Colorado Concern, a pro-business advocacy group, said in a statement. "The savings will provide meaningful relief for two years for both home and business owners while additional reforms to the system can be worked out. It's a big win for Coloradans today."

Other bills the governor is set to sign Monday include legislation that will increase the vendor fee that retailers can retain from sales tax revenue. Colorado law currently allows retailers to retain a 4 percent vendor fee, which will increase to 5.3percent under the bill. 

According to the bill's fiscal note, it could decrease Colorado's general fund levels by $2.5 million in fiscal year 2022-2023 and another $2.8 million the next year. 

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The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at KiowaCountyPress.net.