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Legislative Session Outcomes Addressed by Gov. Jared Polis at Denver Metro Chamber and Colorado Competitive Council’s State of the State

Gov. Polis's biggest observations centered on property taxes, housing availability and costs, higher education access and bipartisan legislation. 

ColoradoBiz Staff //May 17, 2024//

Colorado State Capitol Building, USA
Colorado State Capitol Building, USA

Legislative Session Outcomes Addressed by Gov. Jared Polis at Denver Metro Chamber and Colorado Competitive Council’s State of the State

Gov. Polis's biggest observations centered on property taxes, housing availability and costs, higher education access and bipartisan legislation. 

ColoradoBiz Staff //May 17, 2024//

Colorado’s business community heard from Gov. Jared Polis and business leaders from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and Colorado Competitive Council (C3) about the outcomes of the 2024 legislative session at the Chamber and C3’s annual State of the State event, presented by Xcel Energy.

With more than 600 community members in attendance, the event provided a platform for Gov. Polis, the Chamber, and C3 to discuss this session’s impact on the business community and how they plan to move forward. The event follows the legislative session each year.

READ: Governor Polis, OEDIT Announce 180 Small Business Accelerated Growth Program Grants

In addition to legislative session outcomes, the event also provided a presentation from the Colorado Polling Institute (CPI) on the trends and priorities of Colorado voters. 

Gov. Polis kicked off the event with his takeaways from the legislative session. His biggest observations centered on property taxes, housing availability and costs, higher education access and bipartisan legislation. 

“Coloradans will save an historic amount of money on taxes next year… Taxes will be $1.7 billion dollars less,” Polis stated, referring to the property tax legislation that was passed by the legislature in the final days of session, SB24-233, and SB24-228 that focused on income and sales tax. He also stressed that future assessments should be more forgiving toward homeowners “We’re not expecting the next assessment period to be anything at all [like this past one].” 

Polis also remarked that, “We’re delivering on the promise of more housing now and taking real steps to reducing barriers [to building more homes].”

However, the Denver Metro Chamber supported SB24-106, which passed the Senate with sweeping bipartisan support but failed in the House. Polis remarked that, “at least the construction defects bill made it through the Senate… so it made it halfway through the process.” 

Following Gov. Polis’ remarks was CPI’s presentation on their recent polling surveys. CPI’s presenters included the Founding CEO and Advisory Board Member for CPI, David Carlson; Principal and Founder for Aspect Strategic, Kevin Ingham; and the Principal for New Bridge Strategy, Lori Weigel.  

CPI’s presentation covered their most recent polling research from March. They found that the biggest issues for Colorado voters are currently housing affordability, immigration and homelessness.

Some of the findings were that 51% of respondents had seriously considered moving out of state to elsewhere with cheaper housing, 69% of respondents think the institution of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) is a good thing, and 51% of respondents believe local and state resources are overwhelmed by migrants and they need to be turned away. 

READ: Colorado is Dead Last in Housing Affordability in America, According to New Study

Following CPI’s presentation, the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Denver Metro Chamber, Carly West, and the Executive Director of C3 and Vice President of Statewide Engagement for the Denver Metro Chamber, Rachel Beck, gave a presentation on the legislative session’s outcomes and how they directly impact the business community. Their comments focused on housing, upcoming ballot fights, state regulation, fiscal policy, economic competitiveness and civil discourse. 

In response to the failure of SB24-106 referenced earlier by Polis, Beck and West commented on the need for construction litigation reform to increase housing availability. “We know there is a reason that condos are not being built in our state and apartments are,” West stated, “and that is that the insurance costs to build the exact same building are 233% higher for for-sale units than apartments. SB-106 would have made it easier to build multifamily for-sale housing by reducing insurance costs and decreasing the magnitude and frequency of construction ‘defects’ claims…” 

An excessively litigious environment was also discussed by Beck and West, who stated that this session passed 37 bills that made it easier to sue.

“By their count,” stated Beck, “the cost of Colorado’s litigious environment costs every Colorado household $4,011 each year. This is a cost legislators directly influence.” 

The event closed with remarks from the President and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber, J. J. Ament. The majority of his remarks were addressing SB24-233, claiming that, while the bill is better than nothing, its long-term impact is not close enough to what homeowners need. 

“233 proves that the legislature can act, it can be bi-partisan, it can provide commercial property relief… this merits our admiration and praise,” stated Ament. “But it misses the mark in actual tax relief, and not only does the government keep all of the last cycle’s spike in taxes, it provides no protection from similar spikes in the future. It’s a tax relief bill that increases taxes for most payers.” 

To see all the stances the Denver Metro Chamber took during the legislative session, visit denverchamber.org/policy/2024-legislative-session. All C3’s positions from the session can be viewed at coloradocompetes.org/2024-legislative-session 

Sponsors for this event included presenting sponsor, Xcel Energy, and platinum sponsor, Southwest Airlines. 

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