District 1 Grand Commissioner Richard Cimino (center) testifies at the
House Committee for HB 17-1309, Documentary Fee to Fund Affordable
Housing. He is flanked by two sponsors of the bill. Colorado is one of
the few states in the county without a statewide affordable housing fund or
program.

District 1 Commissioner Richard Cimino recently traveled to the Denver Statehouse twice last week to testify in support of two bills – one about health insurance and one about affordable housing. Both bills had the support of all three members of the Grand County Board of County Commissioners.

On Monday April 24, Cimino drove to Denver to attend the Colorado Senate Committee hearing on HB 17-1235, Financial Relief to Defray Individual Health Plan Costs. It was sponsored by two Republicans and two Democrats. The bill would have helped people in high cost of living counties (like Grand County) to get their health insurance payments reduced. The Senate Committee voted down the bill, 3 -2.

“I intend to try again next year, and every year until health care costs are improved in Grand County,” said Commissioner Cimino of the bill’s failure to pass.

On Wednesday April 26, Cimino again traveled to the Statehouse.

“I testified in support of HB 17-1309, Documentary Fee to Fund Affordable Housing. This bill was sponsored by three Democrats and one Republican. It was being heard by the House Committee on Local Government.”

According to Commissioner Cimino, this bill would increase the document fee paid to the County Clerk and Recorder when one buys real estate to 2 cents per $100 of the transaction. With the fee increase, if one buys a $400,000 property, the new document fee would be $80 (the current fee is $40 for a $400,000 transaction). The fees would go toward a statewide affordable housing fund, and the fund could only be used for affordable housing projects in lower population counties. The only group to testify against the bill was the Colorado Realtors Association.

“This time I had better success. The bill passed the committee vote, barely, 7-6. On Friday April 28, the bill also passed the full House, 35 – 29. The bill will be heard by the Colorado Senate this week.”

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