Colorado has a housing affordability crisis. It’s rare that you find Democrat and Republican elected officials agreeing on anything, but the call for affordable housing has become that unifier. That’s why SB22-136, Concerning Special District Governance, is so alarming.
SB22-136 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing that is presented as special district reform but will ultimately slow or stop the building of new homes like the Montava project in Fort Collins, which includes 600 units of affordable housing. Without a metro district, which is a type of special district, this project and these units would not be possible. Sadly, efforts like SB22-136 will only exacerbate Colorado’s affordability challenge.
Colorado legislators must vote no on SB22-136 because it undermines the ability of cities and counties to decide whether they want to allow special districts to fund public services and infrastructure to support new growth. Cities and counties already struggle to fund services like fire protection and roads due to the limitations of TABOR because voters regularly say “no” to measures that don’t directly benefit them. Thus, for growth to pay its own way, cities and counties rely on special districts.