Dennis on Gallagher

The Gallagher Amendment is the ONLY protection taxpayers have against skyrocketing property taxes — THE ONLY PROTECTION!

Dennis Gallagher was one of the authors of the Gallagher Amendment when he was a state senator in 1982.

  • Here’s a link to Kim Monson’s interview of Dennis about the proposed repeal of Gallagher on the Kim Monson Show.
  • What follows are two articles penned by Dennis about the Gallagher Amendment.

This is a Guest Commentary in The Denver Post by Dennis on September 6, 2020:

Dennis Gallagher: Passing Amendment B, repealing my namesake,
will raise property taxes by $203 million in the first year

There they go again. Corporate special interests are trying to fund an additional tax break on the backs of homeowners and renters. Their latest ploy is the repeal of the Gallagher Amendment.

A vote to repeal the Gallagher Amendment, which is a “yes” vote on B, will cause huge property tax increases for homeowners and renters throughout Colorado.

Since Gallagher was adopted,  residential property tax owners have saved $35 billion, an average savings of $17,000 per homeowner and renter.

The most offensive part of Amendment B is its attempt to deceive voters. Proponents claim it will not increase homeowners’ taxes. The reality is that this claim is a lie. According to the Colorado property tax administrator, residential property tax owners will pay an additional $203,781,937 in property tax increases in the first year after repeal. Over five years we will pay an astronomical increase of $1.02 Billion. While homeowners and renters face these increases, corporate special interests could see decreases in their property taxes.

As The Denver Post admitted in its editorial supporting Amendment B, the Gallagher Amendment has worked. It kept residential property taxes low in Colorado. Comparing Colorado to New Jersey proves this point. The average homeowner in Colorado pays $2,046 while the average homeowner in New Jersey pays $8,477. Vote “no” on Amendment B and we will not have to pay these excessive property taxes.

The misguided effort to repeal the Gallagher Amendment is wrong during the current health and economic crisis. Unemployment is 10.2%, 32% of homeowners are behind in their mortgages, and 12% of renters are behind in their rent payments.

The Denver Post is correct that the Gallagher Amendment has different impacts upon different regions. The solution for many rural areas is for local government to prove to the voters that it is in their best interest to have tax increases to support basic services. It is not to Repeal Gallagher and cause all Colorado residents to face massive property tax increases.

As the sponsor of the original Gallagher Amendment, I am willing to look at reforms to Gallagher to address specific concerns. But I will not support repeal which will cost homeowners and renters millions more, while corporate businesses could pay millions less.

Vote no on Amendment B!

Dennis Gallagher served in the Colorado General Assembly as a senator and representative for almost three decades. He was also a Denver City councilmember and the City Auditor. The Gallagher Amendment is named for him

August 8, 2020

Why They Want to Repeal the Gallagher Amendment

Since the legislature voted to place a referendum to the November ballot, Amendment B, to Repeal the Gallagher Amendment, lots of friends and neighbors have asked me: “Dennis, why does the government want to repeal the Gallagher Amendment?” Its simple – they want to raise your residential property taxes so they can lower property taxes for businesses.

Let’s cut right to the chase.  Repealing Gallagher will give them a blank check to make you pay more home property taxes so businesses pay less in property taxes.  Don’t be distracted by all the song  and dance routines, if you vote to repeal Gallagher, you lose the only protection for the middle class residential home owners and renters in the constitution.   

Are  voters going to vote to take away the their only protection which has has worked since 1982 to keep their property taxes at a reasonable level?  Voters approved the Gallagher by a margin of 65% to 35% in 1982.  They rejected the last attempt to remove Gallagher by 80%. The voters are not so easily fooled! 

Our state legislature believes like Mussolini that if one can pluck one feather at a time from the proverbial chicken no one will notice.  Ending Gallagher will allow your property taxes to rise every year.  The legislature refuses to tell you the truth.  They want to end Gallagher so that your property taxes will increase.  Pure and Simple!   

The cry from the legislature is to cut property taxes for businesses and raise them on homeowners.  They want to cut taxes for Amazon, Da Vita, Coors, Excel, and Century Link.  They say corporations pay too much and we must have them pay less. 

But the legislature also wants to raise more money.  So their solution is to make residential property owners pay part of the corporations’ share and a little more besides. That’s the give-a-tax-break to corporate mentality that is driving the repeal of the Gallagher Amendment. 

Amazon, after a multibillion dollar profit, did not pay one dime of federal income taxes last year. Does that make you as angry as it makes me? The  legislature wants us to feel sorry for them and give them another tax break! 

One analysis of this referendum  shows repealing Gallagher this year will cause residential property taxes to increase by almost $300,000,000 this year alone. 

The drive to protect corporate America will not be satisfied until Colorado has property taxes as high as New Jersey, equal to a second mortgage payment. They want you to pay more home taxes and higher rents, so business taxes will pay less.

Are there problems with Gallagher?  Yes.  Any constitutional amendment or legislation which is almost 40 years old may need to be changed.  I have publicly said as much.   But the legislature did not fix Gallagher’s issues.  They want to end it and its limits upon their power. 

Let me translate what they are really saying, “Oh,  trust us, don’t limit our ability to raise your taxes and decrease the amount of taxes paid by corporate interests. And we won’t raise taxes all at once.”   

We, the voters, are not that stupid!

And the legislature did not include in the title of this Gallagher Repeal an alert, a hint, a warning that your home property taxes will increase.  Translation: “Don’t tell the people if they vote for this referendum, their home taxes will increase.  Don’t tell them that.  They may vote ‘no’ on Amendment B.”  

One of latest surveys on business friendly environments had Colorado the 4th most business friendly state in the United States.  But that isn’t good enough for corporations, their swarms of lobbyists, and their insatiable concept of greed. What they are really saying: ” We pay too much – shift the burden to home owners and renters!”

Ann Richards the once governor of Texas said, “Life isn’t fair, but government should be.”  Gallagher makes Colorado a much fairer place to live if you are a homeowner or renter.  Don’t give corporations in Colorado another tax break!

The voters of Colorado understood the wisdom of the Gallagher Amendment when the passed it in 1982.  They reminded the powers that be in 1993 when they rejected its removal from the state constitution by almost 80%. I know we will once again have the good sense to end the legislature’s foolish attempt to end it this year. Please share these comments with your family, friends and neighbors. 

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