Amendment 74: Voters decide on compensation for fair market value

DENVER (KKTV) - A breakdown of Amendment 74 in part by the state ballot information booklet in Colorado:

74 proposes amending the Colorado Constitution to:

-require the state or a local government to compensate a property owner if a law or regulation reduces the fair market value of his or her property.

It requires at least 55 percent of the vote to pass.

Both the Colorado Constitution and state law specify that a government may not take or damage private property without providing compensation to the owner. Procedures in law exist to evaluate and challenge government decisions that lead to takings or cause damages, including asking for public and property owner input and establishing the amount of compensation owed.

Argument For

1) Amendment 74 ensures that when a property’s value is harmed by government action, the owner of that property is fairly compensated for the loss. For many Coloradans, property is the most significant asset they own. If a law or regulation causes any loss of value, the property owner should be fairly compensated by the state or a local government. However, current law does not require a government to compensate an owner unless the loss in value to the property is near total.

Argument Against

1) Amendment 74 has potentially far-reaching and costly consequences for taxpayers and governments. Under the measure, taxpayers will be responsible for payments to property owners for any loss in property value resulting from a change in law or regulation, regardless of whether the property retains a profitable use. The potential liability for large payouts to private property owners may discourage governments from making decisions that benefit communities and protect vital public resources, such as water, air, and infrastructure.