DENVER (KDVR) — It’s no secret the cost of living is going up steadily.
Inflation is impacting just about everything, including the housing market. A new study finds property taxes are increasing around the state too.
Rocket Morgage currently ranks Colorado as the state with the third-lowest property tax rates in the nation. But Colorado Concern, a pro-business group, conducted a study that forecasted that most Coloradans will experience an increase in property tax rates over the next three years.
The Colorado Concern study showed the increases may pose a threat to Colorado’s economic advantage.
“We do expect an average 20% property tax increase in this cycle for most homeowners, and when you step back and you look at the study, you see numbers on a page,” Colorado Concern CEO Mike Kopp said. “But when you really assess all the dynamics of housing affordability, our conclusion is this is what it looks like when you are pricing yourself out of your own state.”
Kopp said the dilemma creates issues for middle-class America.
“The fact that homeownership is unattainable for too many people, and now business taxes are rising to this point, these two problems really work together. Businesses that have more pressure on their bottom line are also going to have less to offer in payroll to people who would like to own a home,” Kopp said.
Paul Anderson is a guitar teacher and longtime Denver resident. He has seen a lot of change over the years, but in recent years, Anderson said he has really noticed an uptick.
“I just thought when I first started paying property taxes, jeez, this is just the way it is,” Anderson said. “Property taxes may be a little more than you would think. And of course, the city, whenever they want to do stuff — and some of this I voted for: schools, and libraries — I knew my property taxes were going to go up with that. But it seems like whenever they need a revenue source, they hit the homeowners.”
While there are a few bills that address property taxes at the Capitol this year, most of them deal with specific groups like veterans. Colorado Concern’s team said there is not a proposal right now that deals with the broader issue.
Kopp said lawmakers will have their hands full as this issue will likely take multiple measures over time to address. Anderson, on the other hand, wants lawmakers to look to taxing industries like casinos or carbonated beverages instead of people.
“It feels to me like the city wants to tax me out of my property so somebody can come in here scrape it off, put up a $2.5 to $3 million McMansion so they can tax that. I’m sure the government will deny this empathically, but that’s the way it feels to me,” Anderson said.