Colorado Springs is considered a very low tax area of the country to live. Our taxes are paid in several pieces:
- State Income Taxes – The state income tax rate is 4.65% for 2009. It is primarily based on your Federal taxable income, so the state tax form is very simple to complete. Pretty much anything that is deductable for Federal taxes is also deductable for state purposes. For more information see the Colorado Department of Revenue web site.
- Sales Taxes – In the Colorado Springs area, sales tax is 4.9% if you are NOT in the city of Colorado Springs. It is 7.4% in the city. Groceries are not taxable.
- Property Taxes – Property taxes vary a lot based on where you live. The main source of revenue for schools in Colorado is property taxes. GENERALLY we plan for property taxes as about 3/4 of 1% of the market value of the home. This is higher in certain areas where Special Improvement districts exist (such as Flying Horse Ranch, where the planning figure is closer to 1.25%) and lower in some of the older sections of the city (particularly in school district 11), where the figure is often closer to 1/2 of 1%. Because valuation is inprecise and tax rates vary significantly, the only way to know for sure what taxes will like is to check the assessors office information for a specific property.
Colorado enacted something called the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) in 1992 that severly limits the ability of government at any level to raise taxes without taxpayers voting on it. TABOR has forced a significant level of discipline into local government spending, although it has also forced some very hard decisions during hard economic times. A property tax increase designed to replace lost sale tax revenue, was voted down in Colorado Springs in 2009. This is likely to cause some significant reductions in service in many city departments, particularly parks and recreation.