DENVER, Sept. 8, 2020: On Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education voted unanimously to support the repeal of the Gallagher Amendment, recognizing that the repeal would benefit higher education.
In November, Coloradans will be asked to vote on the repeal of the Gallagher Amendment, which was adopted into the Colorado constitution in 1982. Historically, the Gallagher Amendment forced a continual reduction in residential property tax assessment rates and consequently eroded local property tax bases across the state. As such, the Gallagher Amendment has been detrimental to the funding of statewide higher education.
The growth of residential property values has consistently and significantly outpaced the growth of the value of all other non-residential property in the state, so much so that today, residential property makes up 80 percent of the total assessed value of all property statewide. Gallagher’s erosion of local property tax bases has challenged local funding for K- 12 education, thus forcing the state to compensate and increase its investment as part of that local/state funding partnership, from 43 percent in 1989 to 66 percent in 2015.
The state’s increased investment in the local/state K-12 funding partnership has reduced funds available for other state priorities such as higher education tuition, the result of which state support has been reduced from 68 percent in 2000 to 35 percent in 2017 – resulting in an increased burden on students and their families. With the repeal of Gallagher, the assessment rate will freeze at 7.15 percent, until residents vote to raise it.
The Commission expects the repeal to enable the state to better support higher education – and ease the financial burden on Coloradans and their families.
About the Colorado Commission of Higher Education
The Colorado Commission on Higher Education and the Colorado Department of Higher Education work together to support students, advocate and develop policies to maximize higher education opportunities for all. CCHE members are appointed by the Governor and serve up to two four-year terms; they represent all parts of the state. The Commission is bipartisan. Learn more about the Commission.