By Jackie Mitchell
Voters in Colorado will decide on an amendment in 2024 that would expand a homestead property tax exemption for veterans with service-related disabilities.
If Amendment E passes, it allows gold star spouses to claim a homestead exemption in a house that they live in and own.
For veterans to claim homestead exemption, they must be at least 65-years-old and lived on their property for at least a decade. A veteran must be permanently disabled that related to their service recognized by the federal government. The surviving spouse must and can continue living in the property if the service member has died.
Currently, veterans in Colorado who are rated as 100% permanently disabled qualify for a homestead property tax exemption that exempts 50% of the first $200,000 of a property’s actual value from property taxes.
This amendment would expand property tax exemption for veterans with a disability to veterans with individual unemployability status beginning in 2025. Individual unemployability status is given to veterans who are unable to remain employed due to having at least one service-connected disability with a rating of 60% or higher or two or more service-connected disabilities with at least one of them being rated at 40% and a combined disability rating of 70%.
The amendment was projected to allow an additional 3,400 veterans to claim the property tax exemption who would otherwise be ineligible, according to the Colorado Legislative Council staff.
In 2006, voters approved a constitutional amendment to extend the property tax exemption that was available to qualified senior citizens to all U.S. military veterans living in Colorado who are 100% disabled due to a service-related disability.
Amendment E, approved by the voters last year, extended the property tax for veterans with a disability to the surviving spouses of military service members who died in the line of duty and the surviving spouses of veterans who died as a result of service-related injury or disease.
To put a legislatively referred to amendment before voters, a two-thirds (66.67%) vote is required in both the Colorado State Senate and the Colorado House of Representatives. Introduced as House Concurrent Resolution 23-1002, the amendment was approved unanimously in both chambers of the state legislature.
In order to take effect, the amendment requires a 55% vote of approval at the election on Nov. 5, 2024.
Source: Published without changes from Zenger News