Assessor clarifies tax exemptions for seniors, disabled veterans

The Colorado Constitution establishes a property tax exemption for senior citizens, surviving spouses of senior citizens, and for disabled veterans. For those who qualify, 50 percent of the first $200,000 in actual value of their primary residence is exempted, for a maximum exemption amount of $100,000 in actual value. The state of Colorado pays the property taxes on the exempted value.

Senior Citizen Exemption

Basic qualifications — generally, each of the following statements must be true to qualify. The qualifying senior:

• Must be at least 65 years old on Jan. 1 of this year; and

• must be the current owner of record, and listed as the owner of record for at least ten consecutive years prior to Jan. 1; and

• must occupy the property as his/her primary residence, and must have done so for at least ten consecutive years prior to Jan. 1.

Exceptions to basic qualifications: The applicant may still qualify if one or more of the following statements are true:

• Ownership is in the spouse’s name, and the spouse also occupies the property.

• Ownership has been transferred to or purchased by a trust, corporate partnership or other legal entity solely for estate planning purposes.

• The qualifying senior or his/her spouse was or is confined to a health care facility.

• The applicant was forced to move when the prior residence was condemned in an eminent domain preceding.

• The applicant is the surviving spouse of a senior who met the requirements on Jan. 1, 2002, or on any Jan. 1 thereafter.

How to apply: To apply, you must complete the appropriate application form and return it to the assessor, postmarked no later than July 15. Late applications may be accepted until Sept. 15 if the applicant can show good cause for missing the July 15 deadline.

Two application forms are used for the exemption. The “Short Form” is for a qualifying senior citizen who meets each of the basic requirements. The “Long Form” is used when the applicant falls within one or more of the exceptions to the basic qualifications. If you would like to receive an application form or brochure, or if you have questions about the exemption, call the assessor’s office at (970) 264-8310.

Disabled veteran exemption

Basic qualifications — generally, each of the following statements must be true to qualify:

• The applicant must be a veteran who sustained a service-connected disability while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States. This includes members of the National Guard and Reserves who sustained their injuries during a period in which they were called to active duty;

• The applicant must be an honorably discharged veteran.

• The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has rated the applicant’s service-connected disability as 100-percent permanent and total.

• The applicant must be the owner of record and must have been the owner of record since Jan. 1 of the current year; and

• the applicant must have occupied the property as his/her primary residence since Jan. 1 of the current year.

Exceptions to basic qualifications — the applicant may still qualify if one or more of the following statements are true:

• Ownership is in the spouse’s name, and the spouse also occupies the property.

• Ownership has been transferred to or purchased by a trust, corporate partnership or other legal entity solely for estate planning purposes.

• The qualifying disabled veteran or his/her spouse was or is confined to a health care facility.

• The applicant was forced to move when the prior residence was condemned in an eminent domain proceeding.

How to apply — to apply, you must file a completed application with the Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs, postmarked no later than July 1. Late applications may be accepted until Sept. 1 if the applicant can show good cause for missing the July 1 deadline. If you would like to receive an application form or brochure, or if you have questions about the exemption, please call the assessor’s office at (970) 264-8310.