Article X, Colorado Constitution
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| Text of Section 1:
The fiscal year shall commence on the first day of October in each year, unless otherwise provided by law.
| Text of Section 2:
Tax Provided for State Expenses
The general assembly shall provide by law for an annual tax sufficient, with other resources, to defray the estimated expenses of the state government for each fiscal year.
As amended November 6, 1956. (See Laws 1957, p. 796.); as amended November 2, 1982 Effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 30, 1982. (See L. 82, p. 691.); as amended November 8, 1988 Effective upon proclamation of the Governor, January 1, 1989. (For the text of this amendment and the votes cast thereon, see L. 88, p. 1457, and L. 89, p. 1661.)
| Text of Section 3:
Uniform Taxation Exemptions
| Text of Section 3.5:
Homestead exemption for qualifying senior citizens and disabled veterans
(1) For property tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2002, fifty percent of the first two hundred thousand dollars of actual value of residential real property, as defined by law, that, as of the assessment date, is owner-occupied and is used as the primary residence of the owner-occupier shall be exempt from property taxation if:
(a) The owner-occupier is sixty-five years of age or older as of the assessment date and has owned and occupied such residential real property as his or her primary residence for the ten years immediately preceding the assessment date;
(b) The owner-occupier is the spouse or surviving spouse of an owner-occupier who previously qualified for a property tax exemption for the same residential real property under paragraph (a) of this subsection (1); or
(c) For property tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2007, only, the owner-occupier, as of the assessment date, is a disabled veteran.
(1.3) An owner-occupier may claim only one exemption per property tax year even if the owner-occupier qualifies for an exemption under both paragraph (c) of subsection (1) of this section and either paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section.
(1.5) For purposes of this section, "disabled veteran" means an individual who has served on active duty in the United States armed forces, including a member of the Colorado national guard who has been ordered into the active military service of the United States, has been separated therefrom under honorable conditions, and has established a service-connected disability that has been rated by the federal department of veterans affairs as one hundred percent permanent disability through disability retirement benefits or a pension pursuant to a law or regulation administered by the department, the department of homeland security, or the department of the army, navy, or air force.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, section 20 of this article, or any other constitutional provision, for any property tax year commencing on or after January 1, 2003, the general assembly may raise or lower by law the maximum amount of actual value of residential real property of which fifty percent shall be exempt under subsection (1) of this section.
(3) For any property tax year commencing on or after January 1, 2002, the general assembly shall compensate each local governmental entity that receives property tax revenues for the net amount of property tax revenues lost as a result of the property tax exemption provided for in this section. For purposes of section 20 of article X of this constitution, such compensation shall not be included in local government fiscal year spending and approval of this section by the voters statewide shall constitute a voter-approved revenue change to allow the maximum amount of state fiscal year spending for the 2001-02 state fiscal year to be increased by forty-four million one hundred twenty-three thousand six hundred four dollars and to include said amount in state fiscal year spending for said state fiscal year for the purpose of calculating subsequent state fiscal year spending limits. Payments made from the state general fund to compensate local governmental entities for property tax revenues lost as a result of the property tax exemption provided for in this section shall not be subject to any statutory limitation on general fund appropriations because the enactment of this section by the people of Colorado constitutes voter approval of a weakening of any such limitation.
| Text of Section 4:
Public Property Exempt
The property, real and personal, of the state, counties, cities, towns and other municipal corporations and public libraries, shall be exempt from taxation.
As amended November 3, 1936. (See Laws 1937, p. 1033.)
| Text of Section 5:
Property Used for Religious Worship, Schools and Charitable Purposes Exempt
Property, real and personal, that is used solely and exclusively for religious worship, for schools or for strictly charitable purposes, also cemeteries not used or held for private or corporate profit, shall be exempt from taxation, unless otherwise provided by general law.
As amended by the People, November 2, 1976. (See Laws 1976, p. 1579.)
| Text of Section 6:
Selfpropelled Equipment, Motor Vehicles, and Certain Other Movable Equipment
The general assembly shall enact laws classifying motor vehicles and also wheeled trailers, semitrailers, trailer coaches, and mobile and selfpropelled construction equipment, prescribing methods of determining the taxable value of such property, and requiring payment of a graduated annual specific ownership tax thereon, which tax shall be in lieu of all ad valorem taxes upon such property; except that such laws shall not exempt from ad valorem taxation any such property in process of manufacture or held in storage, or which constitutes the inventory of manufacturers or distributors thereof or dealers therein; and further except that the general assembly shall provide by law for the taxation of mobile homes.
Such graduated annual specific ownership tax shall be in addition to any state registration or license fees imposed on such property, shall be payable to a designated county officer at the same time as any such registration or license fees are payable, and shall be apportioned, distributed, and paid over to the political subdivisions of the state in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
All laws exempting from taxation property other than that specified in this article shall be void.
| Text of Section 7:
Municipal Taxation by General Assembly Prohibited
The general assembly shall not impose taxes for the purposes of any county, city, town or other municipal corporation, but may by law, vest in the corporate authorities thereof respectively, the power to assess and collect taxes for all purposes of such corporation.
| Text of Section 8:
No County, City, Town to Be Released
No county, city, town or other municipal corporation, the inhabitants thereof, nor the property therein, shall be released or discharged from their or its proportionate share of taxes to be levied for state purposes.
| Text of Section 9:
Relinquishment of Power to Tax Corporations Forbidden
The power to tax corporations and corporate property, real and personal, shall never be relinquished or suspended.
| Text of Section 10:
Corporations Subject to Tax
All corporations in this state, or doing business therein, shall be subject to taxation for state, county, school, municipal and other purposes, on the real and personal property owned or used by them within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax.
As amended November 2, 1920. (See Laws 1921, p. 179.)
| Text of Section 11:
Maximum Rate of Taxation
The rate of taxation on property, for state purposes, shall never exceed four mills on each dollar of valuation; provided, however, that in the discretion of the general assembly an additional levy of not to exceed one mill on each dollar of valuation may from time to time be authorized for the erection of additional buildings at, and for the use, benefit, maintenance, and support of the state educational institutions; provided, further, that the rate of taxation on property for all state purposes, including the additional levy herein provided for, shall never exceed five mills on each dollar of valuation, unless otherwise provided in the constitution.
Repealed and reenacted, with amendments, November 5, 1974 Effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 20, 1974. (See Laws 1974, p. 454.)
| Text of Section 12:
Public Funds Report of State Treasurer
(1) The general assembly may provide by law for the safekeeping and management of the public funds in the custody of the state treasurer, but, notwithstanding any such provision, the state treasurer and his sureties shall be responsible therefore.
(2) The state treasurer shall keep adequate records of all moneys coming into his custody and shall at the end of each quarter of the fiscal year submit a written report to the governor, signed under oath, showing the condition of the state treasury, the amount of money in the several funds, and where such money is kept or deposited. Swearing falsely to any such report shall be deemed perjury.
(3) The governor shall cause every such quarterly report to be promptly published in at least one newspaper printed at the seat of government, and otherwise as the general assembly may require.
| Text of Section 13:
Making Profit on Public Money Felony
The making of profit, directly or indirectly, out of state, county, city, town or school district money, or using the same for any purpose not authorized by law, by any public officer, shall be deemed a felony, and shall be punished as provided by law.
| Text of Section 14:
Private Property Not Taken for Public Debt
Private property shall not be taken or sold for the payment of the corporate debt of municipal corporations.
As amended November 3, 1914; November 6, 1962. (See Laws 1915, p. 164; Laws 1963, p. 1059.); as amended November 2, 1982 Effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 30, 1982. (See L. 82, p. 695.)
| Text of Section 15:
Boards of Equalization Duties Property Tax Administrator
(2) The state board of equalization shall appoint, by a majority vote, a property tax administrator who shall serve for a term of five years and until his successor is appointed and qualified unless removed for cause by a majority vote of the state board of equalization. The property tax administrator shall have the duty, as provided by law, of administering the property tax laws and such other duties as may be prescribed by law and shall be subject to the supervision and control of the state board of equalization. The position of property tax administrator shall be exempt from the personnel system of this state.
| Text of Section 16:
Appropriations Not to Exceed Tax Exceptions
No appropriation shall be made, nor any expenditure authorized by the general assembly, whereby the expenditure of the state, during any fiscal year, shall exceed the total tax then provided for by law and applicable for such appropriation or expenditure, unless the general assembly making such appropriation shall provide for levying a sufficient tax, not exceeding the rates allowed in section eleven of this article, to pay such appropriation or expenditure within such fiscal year. This provision shall not apply to appropriations or expenditures to suppress insurrection, defend the state, or assist in defending the United States in time of war.
Added November 3, 1936. (See Laws 1937, p. 675.)
| Text of Section 17:
The general assembly may levy income taxes, either graduated or proportional, or both graduated and proportional, for the support of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, or for public schools, and may, in the administration of an income tax law, provide for special classified or limited taxation or the exemption of tangible and intangible personal property.
As amended November 5, 1974 Effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 20, 1974. (See Laws 1974, p. 459.)
| Text of Section 18:
License Fees and Excise Taxes Use of
On and after July 1, 1935, the proceeds from the imposition of any license, registration fee, or other charge with respect to the operation of any motor vehicle upon any public highway in this state and the proceeds from the imposition of any excise tax on gasoline or other liquid motor fuel except aviation fuel used for aviation purposes shall, except costs of administration, be used exclusively for the construction, maintenance, and supervision of the public highways of this state. Any taxes imposed upon aviation fuel shall be used exclusively for aviation purposes.
Adopted November 6, 1962. (See Laws 1962, p. 312.)
| Text of Section 19:
State Income Tax Laws by Reference to United States Tax Laws
The general assembly may by law define the income upon which income taxes may be levied under section 17 of this article by reference to provisions of the laws of the United States in effect from time to time, whether retrospective or prospective in their operation, and shall in any such law provide the dollar amount of personal exemptions to be allowed to the taxpayer as a deduction. The general assembly may in any such law provide for other exceptions or modifications to any of such provisions of the laws of the United States and for retrospective exceptions or modifications to those provisions which are retrospective.
| Text of Section 20:
The Taxpayer's Bill of Rights
(1) General provisions. This section takes effect December 31, 1992 or as stated. Its preferred interpretation shall reasonably restrain most the growth of government. All provisions are self-executing and severable and supersede conflicting state constitutional, state statutory, charter, or other state or local provisions. Other limits on district revenue, spending, and debt may be weakened only by future voter approval. Individual or class action enforcement suits may be filed and shall have the highest civil priority of resolution. Successful plaintiffs are allowed costs and reasonable attorney fees, but a district is not unless a suit against it be ruled frivolous. Revenue collected, kept, or spent illegally since four full fiscal years before a suit is filed shall be refunded with 10% annual simple interest from the initial conduct. Subject to judicial review, districts may use any reasonable method for refunds under this section, including temporary tax credits or rate reductions. Refunds need not be proportional when prior payments are impractical to identify or return. When annual district revenue is less than annual payments on general obligation bonds, pensions, and final court judgments, (4) (a) and (7) shall be suspended to provide for the deficiency.
(2) Term definitions. Within this section:
(3) Election provisions.
(4) Required elections. Starting November 4, 1992, districts must have voter approval in advance for:
(5) Emergency reserves. To use for declared emergencies only, each district shall reserve for 1993 1% or more, for 1994 2% or more, and for all later years 3% or more of its fiscal year spending excluding bonded debt service. Unused reserves apply to the next year's reserve.
(6) Emergency taxes. This subsection grants no new taxing power. Emergency property taxes are prohibited. Emergency tax revenue is excluded for purposes of (3) (c) and (7), even if later ratified by voters. Emergency taxes shall also meet all of the following conditions:
(7) Spending limits.
(8) Revenue limits.
(9) State mandates. Except for public education through grade 12 or as required of a local district by federal law, a local district may reduce or end its subsidy to any program delegated to it by the general assembly for administration. For current programs, the state may require 90 days notice and that the adjustment occur in a maximum of three equal annual installments.
Enacted by the People November 3, 1992 -- Section 1 of article V of this constitution provides that initiated measures shall take effect upon the Governor's proclamation. Subsection (1) of this section provides that this section shall take effect December 31, 1992, or as stated. (See subsection (4).) The Governor's proclamation was signed January 14, 1993. (For the text of this initiated measure, see L. 93. p. 2165.); section 20 (3)(b)(v) amended November 8, 1994 -- Effective upon proclamation of the Governor, January 19, 1995. (See L. 94, p. 2851.); the introductory portion to section 20 (3)(b) and (3)(b)(v) amended November 5, 1996 -- Effective upon proclamation of the Governor, December 26, 1996. (For the text of the amendment and the votes cast thereon, see Laws 1995, p. 1425, and Laws 1997, p. 2393.)