Metro district reform bills clash in Colorado’s Legislature,worrying housing developers


New homes being built in northeast Denver in a development that used metropolitan district financing to fund infrastructure.

Dueling bills meant to reform metropolitan district debt that many suburban homebuyers repay in their property taxes have galvanized Colorado legislators and the housing development industry over worries one measure could stymie new neighborhood building in the state.

Critics of metro districts argue homebuyers need better protection from developers willing to exploit metro district-issued debt to increase their profits, while supporters of housing developers argue that one of the reform proposals could stop a lot of housing development at a time when affordable housing is considered tobe in short supply.

Developers, lawyers, and accountants serving metropolitan districts, the economic development corporations for metro Denver and Colorado Springs and others have publicly opposedHouse Bill 1090, proposed by Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora, that would bar developers who serve metro district boards from buying bond debt issued by those districts.