CMC presents proposed ’20-21 budget, endorses state ballot question to amend Gallagher provisions

John Stroud Glenwood Springs Post Independent

Colorado Mountain College Trustees took their first peek at a $73.9 million budget for next year, while endorsing a proposed state measure that would help secure the college district’s funding into the future.

The CMC Board, meeting via Webex teleconference on May 20, held its first hearing on the fiscal year 2020-21 budget for the college.

The projected budget of $73.9 million has an expected 1.96% decrease in revenues compared to the current year, CMC administrative staff advised the board.

The budget does include a 1.25% cost-of-living increase for employees. That’s equal to mandatory cost increases on employees in the PERA state pension program, the college said in a follow-up news release. 

Also during the regular meeting, the board acted on a recommendation from its government relations committee to formally support a referred measure now before the Colorado Senate related to the state Gallagher Amendment.

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs now anticipates that special districts like CMC, as well as school and fire districts, will likely experience further negative financial impacts from Gallagher in 2021 and beyond.

Under Gallagher, as the value of real estate falls, the proportion of taxes owed will shift toward owners of commercial buildings. Current DOLA estimates suggest that, as a result, the state’s residential assessment rate may decline by 18% in 2021. 

The CMC board voted unanimously to support a proposal under consideration by the Colorado Legislature to refer a measure to the November ballot. Voters would be asked to strike several Gallagher-related provisions from the state constitution that have recently resulted in significant revenue reductions for special districts that rely on property taxes for their funding.

Among those provisions would be the elimination of the required 55/45 percent split between residential and nonresidential properties in figuring property tax assessments.

The current 29% fixed commercial property assessment rate would also be eliminated, under the proposal.

CMC two years ago obtained approval from district voters allowing trustees to adjust the college’s mill levy without going to voters in years when the Gallagher provisions kick in.

As for the coming budget year, a summary presentation of the 2020-21 budget will be made in June, including up-to-date changes in allocations from the state.

At the June meeting, trustees will be asked to formally adopt and appropriate funds for next year. The draft budget can be viewed at


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