Colorado voters rejected a proposition on Tuesday that would reduce property taxes but would allow the state government to use its surplus for new spending instead of giving rebates to taxpayers.

Voters overwhelmingly rejected Proposition HH, with 856,182 people voting against it while only 566,663 people voted for the measure, according to data released from the office of Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold. The proposition proposed reducing property taxes for homes and businesses and instead funding school districts using a portion of the state’s budget surplus, while giving the government looser spending restrictions.

“HH was a deceptive measure, crafted in secret, to give Coloradans a huge tax increase wrapped in tiny tax relief,” Michael Fields, President of Advance Colorado, a group critical of the proposition, said, according to Axios. “Voters caught on, and [Tuesday night] they clearly said they deserve better.”

The measure sought to expand the availability of money by the government from Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), which typically provides tax rebates to citizens of the state due to surpluses in the budget, according to CBS Colorado. The proposition would in turn increase the state spending limit using that money, which critics argue would effectively increase taxes and government spending.

 

“Prop. HH was a nuanced, balanced policy that appears to have fallen prey to a misinformation slogan campaign by the far right, who would prefer to cut property taxes on the backs of our schools and fire districts,” Steve Fenberg, President of the Colorado State Senate, who led the campaign for the measure, said, according to Axios.

Lawmakers pushing the proposition planned to use the extra funding from TABOR to have the state pay its debts to school districts and reimburse the taxes lost from the property tax cuts in the measure, according to Axios. Additionally, up to $20 million would be set aside from the fund to give financial aid to those in the state who cannot afford their rent.

Voters in Colorado did approve Proposition II, which allows using the funds from its tax on cigarettes, tobacco and other nicotine products to enhance the state’s voluntary preschool program, making it free, according to the Colorado Secretary of State. The measure was overwhelmingly approved, with 946,617 people voting yes while only 471,905 voted no.

Advance Colorado, Fenberg, and the Colorado governor’s office did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Will Kessler on November 8, 2023

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