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Seniors, disabled vets eligible for property tax exemption

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The Colorado Constitution establishes a property tax exemption for senior citizens and disabled veterans. For those who qualify, 50 percent of the first $200,000 in actual value of the primary residence is exempted from property tax. The State of Colorado pays the property taxes on the exempted value. Qualifying seniors are urged to submit applications if they have not done so.

Qualifying seniors must be at least 65, the current owner of record for at least 10 years, and occupy the property as their primary residence for at least 10 years.

There are some exceptions. 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 spouse is confined to a health care facility.

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

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

• The qualifying senior citizen's prior residence was destroyed or otherwise rendered uninhabitable by a natural disaster.

To apply, complete the appropriate form and return it to the assessor by July 15. To request an application form or a brochure explaining the senior citizen exemption in greater detail, call the assessor's office at 874-2120.

Applications for the disabled veteran exemption must be filed with the Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs by July 1. The Division of Veterans Affairs may accept late applications until Aug. 1 if the applicant can show good cause for missing the July 1 deadline. The surviving spouse of a prequalified veteran must apply directly to the assessor's office no later than July 1.

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 injuries while on active duty. The applicant must have been honorably discharged. The applicant must be the owner of record and must have occupied the property as his/her primary residence since Jan. 1 of the current year.

Again, there are exceptions to the basic qualifications.

To receive an application form or a brochure explaining the disabled veteran exemption in greater detail, call the assessor's office at 874-2082 Monday and Tuesday.

Once you have been approved for either the senior citizen or disabled veterans exemption, you do not need to apply again.

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Property Tax, Seniors, veteran
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