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Senior and Veteran Exemption


Colorado Senior Property Tax Exemption

In 2000, voters amended the Colorado Constitution with the adoption of Section 3.5 of Article X. The amendment, and subsequent legislation, created a property tax exemption for two groups of people: a) qualifying seniors and b) the surviving spouses of seniors who previously qualified.

There are three basic requirements:

  1. the qualifying senior must be at least 65 years old on January 1 of the year in which he/she qualifies;
  2. the qualifying senior must be the owner of record, and must have been the owner of record for at least ten consecutive years prior to January 1;
  3. the qualifying senior must occupy the property as his/her primary residence, and must have done so for at least ten consecutive years prior to January 1.

For those who qualify, 50 percent of the first $200,000 of actual value of the property is exempted. The state will pay the exempted property tax. If you own multiple residences, only one can be designated as your primary residence.

Two application forms have been created for the exemption. The "Short Form" is intended for qualifying seniors that meet each of the requirements stated above. The "Long Form" must be used by individuals applying under the surviving spouse option and for applicants applying as the qualifying senior who fall within certain exceptions to the occupancy and ownership requirements. Applicants whose property is owned by a trust for estate planning purposes must submit the Long Form.

The application deadline for either form is July 15 of the year for which you are seeking exemption. The exemption must be applied for only once, and remains until property ownership changes. The state will decide yearly if this exemption is to be in effect.

We have application forms available in the office. Please stop by or call and we will be happy to mail one to you. It is also available on the state web site.

Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

DISABLED VETERAN EXEMPTION A property tax exemption is available to qualifying disabled veterans and their surviving spouses as well as Gold Star spouses. For those who qualify, 50% of the first $200,000 of actual value of the veteran’s primary residence is exempt from taxation. The state reimburses the county treasurer for the lost revenue. To qualify, a disabled veteran must meet each of the following requirements: served active duty in U.S. armed forces, was honorably discharged, and as established a service-connected disability that has been rated by the federal department of veterans affairs as a one hundred percent permanent disability through disability retirement benefits.

OWNERSHIP REQUIREMENT The veteran or Gold Star spouse must be the owner of record of the property and must have been so since January 1 of the year of application. If the veteran’s spouse owns the property, the veteran may meet ownership requirements if the couple was married as of January 1 and both occupied the property as their primary residence since January 1. If the property is owned by a trust, corporate partnership, or other legal entity, the veteran or Gold Star spouse will meet the ownership requirement if each of the following items is true: the veteran or spouse is a maker of the trust or a principal of the legal entity, the property was transferred solely for estate planning purposes, the veteran or spouse would otherwise be the owner of record.

QUALIFYING GOLD STAR SPOUSE A qualifying Gold Star spouse is defined as a: spouse of a United States armed service member who died in the line of duty or a veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

SURVIVING SPOUSE REQUIREMENT If a qualifying veteran has an exemption and passes away, his or her surviving spouse may apply to keep the same exemption. The property must be owner occupied and used as the primary residence of the surviving spouse of a qualifying disabled veteran who previously received the exemption.

For additional information regarding the disabled veteran property tax exemption, contact the Colorado Division of Property Taxation at (303) 864-7777, or our office (303) 582-5451.