Spirited discussion over at Dear Denver (The link takes you to what is now a blank page. Hmmm…) with regard to how much your property taxes will increase if Hick’s proposed 2.5 mill levy hike passes in November. Seems, Guerin Lee Green, of the North Denver News, announced in the September 7th edition of his community paper that the average increase for homeowners would be $2,380. (Green neglected to mention that the figure, $2,380, was over a twenty year period.) Giving the impression that the $2,380 was a yearly figure, Lisa Jones, of Denver Denver, took Green to task. She suggests the figure is only about $43.00 annually for a home worth $255,000. Actually, Lisa is kinda half right. Alas, Green is kinda all wrong. (See Mister Green’s comments, below. Very thorough explication of the issue.)
Dennis Gallagher, Denver’s Auditor, took pains to study both the proposed 2.5 mill levy increase proposed by Hickenlooper, and coupled that with the back door machinations of Governor Bill Ritter’s tax and spend Democratically controlled State Legislature. The State Legislature passed the School Finance Act that froze property tax rates–in opposition to a 1982 constitutional amendment–thus negating the requisites of the constitutional amendment that provided when residential property values rose, mill levies would fall; what was supposed to be an effort to limit the tax burden on property owners by the state.
So, the truth or the more accurate estimate of how much property taxes will increase–taking into account both the proposed 2.5 mill increase and the cost of the $550 million bond package–both from the Hick–and Ritter’s back door property tax increase (which, incidentally, only affects property that rises in value, like DENVER), looks more like about $100 per year: $36.54 for the state increase; $50.75 for the city mill levy increase and $12.52 for the bond package. (These figures from Chris Barge’s piece in the September 11th, edition of the Rocky Mountain News.)
I know, doesn’t sound like a whole lot of money to most. For some, it will be a burden.
The problem with the whole mess is, for me, just exactly what all this tax and spend in going to provide and what necessarily it won’t provide. What will still linger out there, undone, neglected, while big bucks are spent on projects that, in the Hick’s view, will make Denver a great city.
Still thinking about the whole mess.