Uniform Mill Levy
A Special Delegate Assembly was held on Thursday, February 28, as part of the 2019 CASB Winter Legislative Conference. Its focus was on the topic of re-establishing a uniform statewide school mill levy, a proposal that is complex and has significant implications to the CASB membership. CASB delegates voted to approve a resolution that provides CASB staff with the direction needed to lobby and to work to influence this legislation.
While the legislation has not yet been released, this page provides membership the tools and resources to help explain what is being proposed and why.
Why did CASB holding a Special Delegate Assembly on February 28?
The Delegate Assembly is the foundation of CASB’s governance structure and provides critical direction to CASB when it represents members’ interests before state policymakers.
CASB is being proactive in having its membership discuss and provide guidance to CASB on a proposal that would be “one of the most significant pieces of education legislation in Colorado in years.” (Colorado Sun)
This concept is complex and has a significant impact on our membership.
Having a resolution adopted by CASB membership will give CASB significant leverage in shaping this legislation.
It’s important to remember that all money raised through property taxes stays local. If the district’s school mill levy goes up, that means the district will raise more revenue through property taxes that will go toward funding its local schools. If a district’s school mill levy goes down, it means the state share will need to increase in order to make up for the decrease in local revenue raised.
This Q&A page provides additional information on:
What are the benefits of adopting a uniform school mill levy rate?
What are the challenges/downside of adopting a uniform school mill levy rate?
Why is the legislature considering a move to a statewide uniform mill levy?
Will this solve school funding issues in Colorado?
The following timeline provides an overview of school finance laws and the effects of various constitutional tax policies put into place over the past four decades. The resources in the right menu provide background content through news articles, legislative summaries and other briefing/historical documents. We will continue to add content to this page as the bill details emerge.
This description provides an overview of the interplay between the local and state contributions, and how mill levies serve as the vehicle for collecting the local share of school funding. Several challenges are explained, as well as relevant history.
We do not yet have a draft of a proposed bill to return Colorado to a uniform statewide school mill. However, we know enough to develop some policy benchmarks against which this legislation must be weighed:
Will every state General Fund dollar replaced by local tax revenues be reinvested in school finance and our public schools?
Will school districts which do not have the ability to reach the required mill levy be protected and held harmless?
Will the window of time afforded to school districts to meet the new required mill levy be reasonable?
Will the pathways made available to school districts to reach the required mill levy be fair and reasonable to local taxpayers and school districts?
Will the new school finance funding and the new uniform mill levy be sustainable and stable in the future?
All children deserve equal access to an education allowing them to reach their potential. The proposal to re-establish a uniform school finance mill levy to recalibrate and rebalance the contributions between local and state support toward our public schools is, like the educational funding system it aims to fix, necessarily complex.
Share your questions with us and we will continue to update you as information develops.
* Content, including benchmarks, will be updated based on input from membership and new information that becomes available.
Q&A on Uniform Statewide School Mill Levy (updated Mar 12, 2019)
- Presentation: Property Tax and Educational Equity in Colorado's School Finance System
- School Finance Funding Comparison with Current Law
- School Finance and the Constitution
- Abbreviated JBC Staff Budget Briefing
- Full JBC Staff Budget Briefing
- The Denver Strike is over now. Now lawmakers are trying to solve Colorado’s chronic education funding problem.
- Colorado legislators plan for education funding overhaul
- It'll take a modern day Robin Hood