Repeal Gallagher for rural Colorado

At a time when the ugliness of partisan politics dominates the media, we come together as residents of Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties to ask for your support of Amendment B to repeal the Gallagher Amendment. Amendment B was referred to Colorado voters by a large majority of both Republican and Democrat legislators. The Gallagher Amendment was created in 1982 and inserted a formula into our state constitution that assumes a one-size-fits-all approach to property taxes. Fast-forward almost 40 years, and the Colorado tax landscape is much different today from what it was then.

Over the years, Gallagher’s one-size-fits-all approach has grown more and more lopsided, providing deep property tax breaks to the state’s wealthiest Front Range neighborhoods, while draining budgets in rural communities and piling the taxes onto local small businesses. An additional result is that schools and special districts (including fire, hospital, water and sewer) are stuck in a cycle of constant budget cuts, with a new round of shortfalls due next year.

During the time of this pandemic when so many of our small, local businesses are struggling just to stay afloat, Gallagher continues to crush them under a tax burden that is more than four times that of homeowners. If we do nothing, that shoots up to five times greater next year.

The good news is we can fix this without increasing property taxes. Amendment B repeals the outdated, lopsided Gallagher Amendment and freezes property tax rates. The only way the rate could increase in the future is by a vote of the people.

We encourage your yes vote on Referendum B. It levels the playing field for rural, small town Coloradans, for our local businesses and for our Roaring Fork Valley communities.

Norman Bacheldor, Eagle County

Kathleen K. Barger, Garfield County

Lauren Cornish, Pitkin County

Roger Hennefeld, Eagle County

Ferdinand (Tito) J. Liotta, MD, Garfield County

Roaring Fork Valley representatives, Colorado Mountain College Foundation