Loveland’s representative in the Colorado State House, Don Marostica, successfully introduced and passed a bill (HB08 1395) that will exempt commercial land owners (like himself) from paying property taxes when they lease property to state and local governmental entities. See story
In a media campaign that would make P.T. Barnum blush by its misleading “facts” Marostica and McWhinney’s Rocky Scott (for whom the bill was introduced) are promoting this as saving state schools millions of dollars. In reality, it fits nicely into McWhinney’s ambition to steal colleges and vocational institutes of learning away from Loveland, Greeley and Ft. Collins city centers. It will also, in time, remove $44 million of assessed valuations from local tax roles that are already in decline thus further squeezing funds available for providing local emergency services by cities and counties. The money goes directly to the property owner and not state schools or other entities.
According to the State of Colorado analysis of the bill, it is really just a tax loophole for commercial landlords who may or may not pass their windfall profit off to their government tenants “Since rent is driven by market conditions and property taxes are a portion of the expenses charged to a tenant, a reduction in taxes may allow an owner to maintain the same rent and recapture a higher portion of operating expenses or increase its profit margin….. Consequently, the size of the property tax savings realized by state government is unknown and will depend upon leasing provisions and the rates negotiated by the state.”
While the analyst says hecan't predict if money will be saved by state schools it does cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars and the increased costs to the county are still not entirely known – the analyst does point to increased profits to commercial property owners generating some additional income taxes for the state.
Why does the local media report hype as fact and why can’t they read the legislation before promoting it as something it clearly is not?