DENVER The state Senate voted Thursday to crack down on nonfarmers who claim an agricultural tax break on their land.
The Senate voted 22-12 for House Bill 1146, which allows county assessors to classify up to two acres of land surrounding a home as residential land.
Currently, people could live in a Telluride mansion but have their land taxed at the agricultural rate simply because a few sheep graze there once a year.
Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, sponsored the bill.
Some potentially abusive situations have really been brought to light, where we have residences that are being classified as agricultural land, and as such are paying very little in property tax when compared to other residential landowners, Steadman said.
The bill says up to two acres under a house should be treated as residential land unless a farm or ranch family lives there.
Houses themselves have always been taxed at residential rates, and HB 1146 doesnt change that.
The bill now goes back to the House for final approval of changes the Senate made.
Reach Joe Hanel at firstname.lastname@example.org.