Friday, April 15, 2011

Senate agrees to close agricultural property loophole

Lawmakers in committee agreed Thursday to close what some call a tax loophole: Rural homeowners whose houses sit on agricultural land pay residential property-tax rates only on the dwelling itself—but the lower ag rate for the land it sits on. Yet, dissenting legislators say changing that policy amounts to a net increase in revenue and could be a violation of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights in the state constitution.

House Bill 1146, which was approved by the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, requires that up to two acres of ag property that a home sits on can be taxed at the higher residential rate—if the home’s not “integral” to agricultural production.

HB 1146 Senate sponsor Pat Steadman, D-Denver, says it’s about fairness and necessity.

“It’s about school finance and the budget,” said Steadman. “If we have residential property not paying their fair share, it has an impact on the funding of our schools. It’s about fairness.”

Voting against the measure in on the committee was Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, who said there is an unanswered question about the proposed tax increase.

“It’s a tough call,’” said Brophy. “We should have equal taxation for equal property—however, it’s still an open question about whether or not this is just another tax increase that is subject to TABOR.”

Via - Colorado News Agency

No comments:

Post a Comment