If a cashier at the supermarket gave you back the change you were due and then stated she gave you your change to “provide relief” from high prices, what would you think? You would probably laugh it off as a joke. She gave you the change because it would be theft if she didn’t — not for any other reason. In our city’s version of this story, our mayor and other city officials are claiming that they are providing “relief” for doing something they are required to do by law — “returning” over-collected property taxes. This is misleading. This is why citizens don’t believe what their government tells them.
In a recent social media post, the mayor states, “To provide relief [from increased property taxes] the city is expecting to give back over $6 million to residents in 2024 by capping local property tax rate”. What the mayor and city are actually doing is trying to not OVER COLLECT property taxes from our citizens. It is pure spin for someone to say they have provided relief to you by not taking something from you, which they have no right to, and by the law would have to return to you.
The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) limits the amount of property tax revenue the city can keep. If the mill levy (tax rate) wasn’t capped, the city would exceed the TABOR limit by approximately $6.2 million. It would then have to refund the money to the citizens. To avoid this, the mayor and city are reducing the 2024 mill levy. If you want to give credit to someone or something for providing $6.2 million in tax relief — give the credit to TABOR!