DENVER | Colorado Gov. Jared Polis hoisted a red baseball bat and smashed emergency glass Thursday in a giddy demonstration for a very real crisis — Colorado homeowners are looking down the barrel of a potential 40% jump in property tax bills.
After a ballot measure meant to quell soaring property taxes failed in Tuesday’s election, Polis turned to the emergency option of calling a special legislative session to begin Nov. 17 with the goal of providing homeowners relief before the year is out and many are stuck with unaffordable property tax bills.
Prop HH was a ballot measure intended to reduce property taxes for homeowners and business owners. 60% of Colorado voters voted against the proposition while 40% voted for it.
“I am calling this session to urge the legislature to bridge partisan divides and put people over politics to provide immediate property tax relief to Coloradans facing extreme spikes from their 2023 property bills,” Polis said in a statement released Thursday.
“The cost of inaction is too high,” Polis said earlier at the press conference, the red bat lying on the floor behind him.
Senate President Steve Fenberg said that they will be “laser-focused on providing short-term relief to those who are most vulnerable to rising cost of living…while protecting our schools and fire districts.”
Opponents of the measure weren’t shy about their glee in the failure of the proposition and Polis relenting on calling for a special session, which they asked for earlier in the year.
While Michael Fields, president of the conservative group Advance Colorado, which opposed the measure, was glad the governor called the special session, he said he remains wary of what Colorado’s majority Democratic legislature will accomplish.
Other conservatives dog-piled on in social media and for the press.
“While it’s disappointing that it took the overwhelming defeat of Prop. HH to get their attention, it’s certainly my hope that the governor and Democrats will now agree to common sense reforms to Colorado’s property tax mess and not just a simple band-aid to a complex problem,” House Minority Leader Mike Lynch said in statement from the Colorado House Republicans. “Instead of addressing the concerns of homeowners a year ago we now have only days to correct a mess that was avoidable.”
The special session is slated to begin Nov. 17 at 9 a.m.