The Jefferson County Public Library Board of Trustees issued the following resolution regarding Amendment B to the Colorado Constitution on October 15. This resolution is included in its entirety.
“WHEREAS, pursuant to C.R.S. 24‐90‐108, the Jefferson County Public Library Board of Trustees is responsible for the management and operation of the Jefferson County Public Library; and
WHEREAS, the Gallagher Amendment in the Colorado Constitution mandates that property taxes assessed on residential property can only make up 45% of the total property taxes the state collects, with non‐residential property taxes (i.e. commercial property and vacant land) making up the remaining 55%; and
WHEREAS, the Gallagher Amendment Repeal and Property Tax Assessment Rates Measure (the “Gallagher Amendment Repeal Measure”) will appear as Amendment B on the state ballot in the November 3, 2020, Colorado election; and
WHEREAS, in order to maintain the split between residential and non‐residential tax rates set forth in the Gallagher Amendment Colorado uses a calculation called the Residential Assessment Rate (RAR) in order to keep this 45/55 ratio between residential and non‐residential property taxes; and
WHEREAS, the residential assessment rate is adjusted to maintain the 45/55 ratio between residential and nonresidential property taxes, as a result, the residential assessment rate has dropped from 21% in 1982 to 7.15% in 2020, while the non‐residential assessment rate has stayed at 29%.; and
WHEREAS, this precipitous drop in the residential assessment rate has been driven by the rapidly rising value of residential property in Colorado, especially along the Front Range. Currently, residential property makes up about 80% of the total valuation of Colorado property – substantially more than the 45% cap implemented by the Gallagher Amendment; and
WHEREAS, previous adjustments required by the Gallagher Amendment have reduced the residential property tax rate from 21% to 7.15%, resulting in significant reductions in residential property tax revenue available to the Jefferson County Public Library; and
WHEREAS, if the Gallagher Amendment Repeal Measure does not pass, the Residential Assessment Rate is anticipated to drop from 7.15% to 5.88% in 2021, which will decrease funding for the library resulting in a possible $7 million drop in Library revenues starting in 2022 which will have a significant impact on the ability of the library to continue to provide services to the citizens of Jefferson County; and
WHEREAS, if the Gallagher Amendment Repeal Measure passes, Senate Bill 20‐223 of the Colorado General Assembly will take effect freezing property tax assessment rates at the current rates, 7.15% for residential property and 29% for non‐residential property; and
WHEREAS, the repeal of the Gallagher Amendment allows the Library to maintain revenues, expand staffing and services, implement the five‐year capital plan including a new library in South Jefferson County and redesign two libraries; and
WHEREAS, the Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act authorizes local governments to adopt resolutions in support of or opposition to ballot issues, and it is the desire of the Jefferson County Public Library Board of Trustees to express its overwhelming and strongest support of the Gallagher Amendment Repeal Measure.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE JEFFERSON COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES, IN THE STATE OF COLORADO affirmatively supports the bipartisan ballot question regarding the Gallagher Amendment Repeal Measure and urges Jefferson County electors to vote YES on Amendment B at the November 3, 2020 election.
Adopted this 15th day of October 2020.”
For more information on Amendment B, please refer to pages 7-13 of the 2020 State Ballot Information Booklet, opens a new window.