Colorado Exempt Possessory Interests in Real Property, Referendum R (2010)

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The Colorado Exempt Possessory Interests in Real Property Referendum, also known as Referendum R, was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in Colorado as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated. The measure would have eliminated property taxes for individuals or businesses that use government-owned property for a private benefit.[1][2]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Colorado Referendum R (2010)
Defeatedd No991,34761.66%
Yes 616,516 38.34%

Elections results via: Colorado Secretary of State - official 2010 general election results

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[2][1]

Shall there be an amendment to section 3 (1) (b) of article X of the constitution of the state of Colorado, concerning an exemption from property taxation for a possessory interest in real property if the actual value of the interest is less than or equal to six thousand dollars or such amount adjusted for inflation?[3]

Media editorial positions

Main article: Endorsements of Colorado ballot measures, 2010


  • supported Amendment R. In an editorial, the board said, "[Amendment R] means that if an individual or business uses government property and the private benefit is less than $6,000, the private entity would be exempt from property taxes. Because it costs more to collect property taxes on these small uses than is earned, the public is better off with the exemption. Vote for."[4]
  • The Coloradoan supported the proposed measure. "In addition to the citizen-initiated measures, Colorado voters will also decide three constitutional amendments referred by the Legislature. All are noncontroversial and needed cleanups to the state Constitution...Amendment R would eliminate property taxes for businesses or people using government-owned property for a private benefit with a market value of $6,000 or less. This primarily impacts cattle grazers who currently end up owing less than $10 in property taxes. We recommend a "yes" vote on Amendments P, Q and R," said the editorial board.[5]
  • The Durango Herald supported Amendment R. "This is actually a cost-saving measure in that collecting tax on such small holdings costs more than it brings in. This would not exempt concessionaires at Broncos or Rockies games, or firms such as ARAMARK, the company that handles food service at Mesa Verde. It would apply more to things like stock tanks and fences on grazing leases and relieve a paperwork burden on local officials and leaseholders alike," said the editorial board.[6]
  • The Denver Post said, "This change makes sense, and we encourage voters to approve it."[7]
  •, a local blog, said, "This is placed on the ballot by a bipartisan majority of the state legislature. This amendment is an example of how our constitution has way too many details in it - it's nuts that this cannot be accomplished with a simple legislative bill."[8]


  • The Steamboat Today was opposed to all constitutional amendments on the Colorado 2010 ballot. "Some of this fall’s ballot measures are more innocent, such as Amendment P and its attempt to transfer oversight of licenses bingo and raffle games to the Department of Revenue, and Amendment Q, which would establish a process for temporarily moving the seat of state government from Denver in the event of a disaster. But we hardly see the need for them. Why spend $116,000 to transfer gaming oversight to a different department when the current system seems to have worked just fine?" said the editorial board.[9]

Path to the ballot

See also: How the Colorado Constitution is amended

Two-thirds of each chamber of the Colorado General Assembly was required to vote affirmatively in order to qualify the proposed amendment for the 2010 ballot.

The proposed measure was signed by the Speaker of the House on June 1 and by the President of the Senate on June 7. The approval of the measure by both houses qualified the measure for the 2010 ballot.[10]

See also

Suggest a link

External links

Additional reading