Gov. Polis; Amendment B campaign Co-chair Kent Thiry; and Maria Empanada Owner Lorena CantarovicI highlight Gallagher’s threat to small business.
(Oct. 17, 2020) DENVER — Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Saturday urged Colorado voters to repeal the nearly 40-year-old Gallagher Amendment — which threatens to hinder Colorado’s economic recovery and force budget cuts on first responders and schools as the state continues to grapple with the pandemic.
“I want to stress to voters across Colorado: How we emerge from the pandemic and the recession will depend on how we vote on Amendment B,” said Polis. “If Gallagher isn’t repealed, Coloradans and the local businesses that have taken the brunt of the impact this year will experience nearly $300 million in automatic property tax increases next year. The Gallagher Amendment is an unfair and outdated formula that will make it harder for Colorado to bounce back. Our small businesses can’t afford this tax increase now.”
Joined by 2017 Colorado Small Business of the Year winner Lorena Cantarovici, and Colorado Coming Together Co-Chairman Kent Thiry, Gov. Polis made a direct appeal for Coloradans to rally together and vote “yes” on Amendment B.
“If Gallagher isn’t repealed, our firefighters, teachers, and the very healthcare workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID will face draconian cuts next year,” said Polis. “It would be unconscionable to cut funding to doctors and nurses, firefighters, and first responders after all they are doing for us.”
Under Amendment B, homeowners would have their property tax rates frozen at the current 7.15% rate, while small businesses and commercial properties would be spared from tax increases.
Cantarovici, whose business started in a garage and grew to include five Maria Empanada stores in metro Denver, highlighted the difficult situation small business owners find themselves in.
“Earlier this year we temporarily closed three of our restaurants and we laid off almost 70 percent of our staff. Thankfully, things have improved — we have re-opened our restaurants, and we have rehired the majority of our staff,”Cantarovici said. “But I join the thousands of other small businesses in Colorado supporting Amendment B who worry about whether we can take on an additional property-tax burden and keep the doors open.”
Thiry said Gallagher “takes a horrible situation and makes it intolerable.”
“Right now, if we keep things the same, our small businesses and restaurants will go from paying a tax rate that is four-times greater than the residential rate to one that is five-times,” he said. “We can’t let that happen. That violates our basic Colorado value of fairness.”
Repealing Gallagher has been met with bipartisan support. Nearly 75% of the State Legislature voted to refer Amendment B to the ballot, and the campaign has received more than 100 endorsements from community leaders throughout Colorado.
For additional information, visit: YesOnAmendmentB.com