July 6, 2022
The state of Colorado is currently facing a funding gap when it comes to education. This gap stems from the fact that there are differences between the income and property tax rates across different districts in Colorado. In order to address this issue, a proposal known as Proposition 120 was introduced by Senator Bob Gardner in 2019 – an initiative which would limit how much property taxes can be raised each year and how much money can be used for schools. The goal of Proposition 120 is two-fold: firstly, it attempts to address the issue of funding gaps between school districts by providing more money into poorer ones; secondly, it aims at boosting teacher salaries across the board so that teachers are better compensated for their hard work with smaller class sizes (something else which would help close this gap).
Colorado Proposition 120 would make it unconstitutional to increase the property tax rate in the state of Colorado to anything higher than 2.5% (or 3.5%).
The law if passed, would reduce the residential property tax assessment rate from 7.15% to 6.5% and the non-residential property tax assessment rate from 29% to 26.4%. Colorado Proposition 120 would also make it unconstitutional to increase the property tax rate in the state of Colorado to anything higher than 2.5% (or 3.5%). The current property tax rate stands at 7.96%. What exactly is Proposition 120 and why is it important?
Proposition 120 was proposed by a group called Our Schools Now, which aims to bring an end to Colorado’s high property taxes that are used for public education funding. They argue that these taxes are unfairly distributed across different types of properties such as residential, commercial, agricultural & industrial properties. Our Schools Now states that this discrepancy negatively impacts businesses and homeowners alike because it increases their overall cost of living while also reducing their disposable income with which they can spend elsewhere in their community or state.”
It would also limit the tax levy that can be used for property taxes to 2.5% (or 3.5%, as long as it is lower than the tax levy).
If a property is taxed at a rate of $1,000 and the tax levy is 2.5%, that means the city can collect $250 in property taxes. If the tax levy increases to 3.5% next year, that means it can collect $350 in property taxes from that property.
The Tax Levy Is Not A Flat Rate
The tax levy is not necessarily a flat fee or percentage of your home’s value because it’s calculated differently depending on where you live. For example, if your home is worth $100,000 but your municipality has restricted its tax levies to only 1% (instead of 10%), then you’ll pay about $100 in taxes each year for having such an expensive house—no matter what.
The money collected under Proposition 120 will be divided into 5 parts and allocated to different state programs – with 4 parts going to transportation infrastructure and 1 part going to education.
There are 5 parts to the ballot measure that we’re discussing, each with its own specific allocation of funds. The first part allocates $1.5 billion for transportation infrastructure, such as roads and bridges. The second part allocates $3 billion for public transportation projects. This includes buses, light rail systems and other forms of public transportation that help make it easier for people to get around their city or town without having to drive or take a taxi/Uber/Lyft (or whatever your preferred ride-sharing app might be).
The third part allocates $1 billion toward higher education facilities like colleges and universities in the state of Colorado.
The fourth part allocates another $1 billion toward K-12 education facilities like schools within the state of Colorado .
And finally, last but not least — because we haven’t yet discussed what happens when you have leftover money after these allocations have been made — there’s one final pot left over: a fund specifically created for education purposes only (with some exceptions).
The ballot initiative was proposed by Senator Bob Gardner following the local elections of 2019, in which a similar proposition failed because it was not progressive enough (taxes were determined based on a flat rate rather than assessed value).
Proposition 120 is a ballot initiative that would change how school funding is allocated in Colorado. The proposition was proposed by Senator Bob Gardner, who also authored and sponsored another 2015 proposed bill called Proposition 103. This one failed because it was not progressive enough (taxes were determined based on a flat rate rather than assessed value).
Proposition 120 aims to address the funding gap between different school districts in the state of Colorado by improving funding for poorer districts and boosting teacher salaries across the board.
By changing Proposition 120 from a flat rate to one where taxes are assessed by value, it would bring more money into the Colorado education system.
- To change Proposition 120 from a flat rate to one where taxes are assessed by value, it would bring more money into the Colorado education system.
- The property tax rate would be capped at 2.5%.
- The tax levy would be capped at 2.5%.
- The money collected would be divided into 5 parts and allocated to different state programs: K-12 education, higher education, early childhood through 12th grade (ECIP), adult basic literacy, and workforce development – including job training for high school dropouts or those who do not qualify for unemployment benefits such as single mothers who become ineligible due to minor offenses like shoplifting or traffic violations (Source: Colorado Education Association).
- The ballot initiative was proposed by Senator Bob Gardner following the local elections of 2019 because he wanted “to find a way out of this fiscal mess” caused by Proposition 1114 which passed in 2018 but didn’t address spending limits for schools until 2020 which meant that it wasn’t as effective as some voters thought it would be when they voted yes on 1114 back then too
It is also hoped that this extra income will help cut down on class sizes and add around 10,000 new teachers to Colorado schools.
Proposition 120 is an amendment to the Colorado constitution that would allow the state to collect and distribute between $900 million and $1 billion in new tax revenue each year. The money will be used for a variety of different things, including reducing class sizes, adding teachers to schools, improving teacher pay and training, increasing teacher retention rates and more.
Proposition 120 would attempt to address the funding gap between different school districts in the state of Colorado by improving funding for poorer districts and boosting teacher salaries across the board.
Prop 120 would attempt to address the funding gap between different school districts in the state of Colorado by improving funding for poorer districts and boosting teacher salaries across the board. It would do this by changing the way property taxes are assessed, which is a big deal because it’s been a hot topic in recent years.
If you want to understand how Prop 120 works, here’s a quick breakdown:
- Property taxes would be replaced with an average mill levy that takes into account all property owners rather than just commercial or residential properties. This would allow smaller municipalities (like rural areas) to keep up with their larger counterparts (like Denver).
- The mill levy would be calculated based on three factors: taxable value (the fair market value of someone’s land), rate per thousand dollars assessed value (the amount paid each year on that land), and total mill levies collected within each district.
Proposition 120 would attempt to make strides in addressing the funding gap between school districts and give teachers a raise, but it is not without its drawbacks. The first of these is that it does not address the underlying problem: Colorado’s constitution does not allow for progressive taxation. Instead, this initiative proposes to implement a flat tax rate which would hit homeowners and property owners who own expensive real estate harder than those who are less wealthy or live in cheaper areas. The second problem with Proposition 120 is that it fails to address how we will pay for all these new teachers and transportation infrastructure projects – which could lead to increased taxes on everything else like food or utilities.
Update: this article has been updated and the measure was voted down in the November 2021 session