Deadline is July 15 to Qualify for Reinstated Senior Property Tax Exemption
Republicans started the 2012 legislative session committed to reinstating the Senior Property Tax Exemption. With a little bit of luck and an improved economy, the state budget allocates $98 million to help seniors with paying their property taxes.
At the start of the 2012 session, Governor John Hickenlooper favored increasing the eligibility for low income seniors through the Property Tax, Rent and Heat credit program. Rep John Keflas, D-Fort Collins sponsored a bill to expand eligibility standards, but it was not approved by the legislature. Meanwhile Rep Frank McNaulty, Speaker of the House of Representatives, R-Highlands Ranch, was able to maintain funding for education and reinstate the senior property tax exemption.
The property tax exemption provides 50% tax relief for qualified seniors age 65 and over on the first $200,000 of value of the personal residence. For example, if the value of the house is $150,000 and the real estate taxes are $1500, the senior would pay $750 rather than $1500 with the state paying the county the remainder. If the value of the house is $300,000 and the real estate taxes are $3000, the tax exemption would apply only to the first $200,000 of value, thus the individual might pay $2000 rather than $3000.
Qualifying seniors must be at least 65 years old on January 1, the owner of record for the previous ten consecutive years, and must live in the residence. Surviving spouses of seniors are also eligible for the tax exemption.
The application must be filed by July 15, 2012 to qualify for the exemption for the 2012 real estate taxes due in 2013.
Applications must be filed with the county assessor’s office. Most individuals will be able to file the short form. Individuals must file the long form if they are a surviving spouse; if the individual resides in a nursing home or assisted living; if their property is owned by a trust, corporate partnership or legal entity; or if the residence was condemned causing the individual to move to a new residence.
Individuals who previously applied are not required to file a new application form, even if they have not previously received the exemption. Individuals who have questions should contact the local county assessor’s office to confirm their application status or call 303-333-3482.