DENVER (KDVR) — The big news coming out of Tuesday night’s election: the governor’s proposal to lower property taxes in the state got a resounding vote of disapproval by Colorado voters.
Proposition HH failed with more than 60% of voters rejecting it. With high property taxes still looming as a reality for Colorado property owners, what will the governor do next?
Gov. Jared Polis has still been quiet about the proposition’s failure. With the end of the year right around the corner, FOX31’s political analysts said outside of a special session, there are not many options left.
After Prop HH, ‘simple solution’ needed: analysts
Colorado voters gave the governor a resounding “no” at the ballot box on his proposal to lower property taxes.
“A substantial difference. A 60-40 margin in Colorado is significant,” longtime Democratic strategist and FOX31 political analyst Andy Boian said.
Polis has avoided talking about the proposition’s failure thus far, but a spokesperson for his office said: “The governor thanks everyone who voted in this year’s election. While he is disappointed voters didn’t pass a long-term property tax cut, he is currently considering next steps.”
Democrats have been quiet about Republican calls for a special session before now, but Boian said now is the time for them to try to work on a compromise.
“We’re stuck. We have property taxes that are going to rise significantly regardless of whether HH passed or not, they’re going to rise,” Boian said. “The difference is how we are going to pay for them. And I think our (Democrats’) proposition was reasonable, it was balanced, it was fair, and what ended up happening is it’s forced us now into what most likely will be a consideration for the governor to call a special session.”
Opponents of Prop HH, like FOX31 analyst and conservative Michael Fields, said lawmakers should come up with simple solutions like a short bill that satisfies the need to lower property taxes.
“I think it’s likely that there ends up being a special session,” Fields said shortly after Prop HH failed Tuesday night. “I think they want to figure out what that might look like, but I think it should have the two criteria: that it cuts, significantly, property tax bills for next year, but then it also sets a cap so that this doesn’t happen over and over again. We haven’t seen that long-term solution, that simple solution from the legislature, and we need to see it,” Fields said.
“We’ve done this in terms of putting stuff on the ballot that’s very simple: two, three sentences. I think that’s what people want to see. You know, property taxes are going up. Cut property taxes, deal with this problem, stop playing political games,” Fields said.
Boian believes a compromise will be more nuanced than two or three sentences, but he said Democrats do need to keep things simple to avoid overcomplicating the issue and isolating community members who want to understand what is going on with property tax relief.
“You know, something that is two, three pages long that’s simple for the legislators to understand. It’s quick and makes sense, it’s something that is more viable. It’s something that is, most likely, something the governor would want to see in the legislature far beyond it being a 50-page document again. I agree that is not what we want,” Boian said.
Both analysts said lawmakers need to work on a solution sooner rather than later to ensure there is enough time to get more community input this time around.