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Colorado Legislation - Property Tax Assistance

STATE OF COLORADO TITLE 39 ARTICLE 31

REAL PROPERTY TAX ASSISTANCE

39-31-101 - Real property tax assistance - eligibility - applicability.

(1) (a) Individuals having resided within this state for the entire taxable year who are sixty-five years of age or older during the taxable year shall be eligible for a grant to be determined with respect to the income taxes imposed by article 22 of this title based upon the payment by such persons of real estate taxes, including taxes on mobile homes, or trailer coach specific ownership tax on, or tax-equivalent payments with respect to, such residences occupied by such persons, subject to the additional qualification requirements of this section.

(b) (I) A husband and wife shall be treated as jointly qualifying for the grant under paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) if either meets the age requirement and they jointly meet all the limitations of subsection (3) of this section. In all cases a husband and wife shall file one joint claim.

(II) A surviving spouse fifty-eight years of age or older shall be treated as qualifying for the grant under paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) if such surviving spouse meets all the limitations imposed by subsection (3) of this section.

(c) (I) The grant authorized by this section shall also be allowed to individuals having resided in this state for the entire taxable year and coming within the limitations imposed by subsection (3) of this section who, regardless of age, were disabled during the entire taxable year to a degree sufficient to qualify for the payment to them of full benefits from any bona fide public or private plan or source based solely upon such disability.

(II) An individual is disabled for the purposes of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (c) if such individual is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted for a continuous period of not less than twelve months.

(d) Eligibility under more than one provision of this subsection (1) shall not operate to increase the amount of any grant available to an individual or husband and wife under subsection (2) of this section.

(2) Such grant shall be the amount of the general property taxes actually paid on the residence or the amount of taxes actually paid on a mobile home, plus any tax-equivalent payments computed pursuant to subsection (4) of this section, with respect to the rent of a trailer space during the year for which such grant is claimed, the amount of the specific ownership tax actually paid on a trailer coach, or the amount of the tax-equivalent payments, computed pursuant to subsection (4) of this section, actually made during the year for which such grant is claimed, but in no event may it exceed:

(a) In the case of an individual:

(I) For grants claimed for years commencing prior to January 1, 1999, five hundred dollars reduced by twenty percent of the amount by which the individual's income exceeds five thousand dollars;

(II) For grants claimed for years commencing on or after January 1, 1999, six hundred dollars reduced by ten percent of the amount by which the individual's income exceeds five thousand dollars;

(b) In the case of a husband and wife:

(I) For grants claimed for years commencing prior to January 1, 1999, five hundred dollars reduced by twenty percent of their income over eight thousand seven hundred dollars;

(II) For grants claimed for years commencing on or after January 1, 1999, six hundred dollars reduced by ten percent of their income over eight thousand seven hundred dollars.

(2.5) In 2000 and in every even-numbered year thereafter, the finance committees of the senate and the house of representatives shall examine the grant amounts and reduction percentages set forth in subsection (2) of this section, considering the level of the federal poverty index and such other information as is available to the committees, and shall determine whether said amounts and percentages should be modified.

(3) Such grant shall be allowed to such persons as described in subsection (1) of this section who meet the following requirements:

(a) Are not claimed as an exemption for purposes of Colorado income tax by any other person for the taxable year;

(b) Have income from all sources for the taxable year of less than eleven thousand dollars if single or, in the case of a husband and wife, less than fourteen thousand seven hundred dollars including, but not limited to, for this purpose, alimony, support money, cash public assistance and relief, pension or annuity benefits, federal social security benefits, veterans' benefits (except those specific veterans' benefits that are service-connected disability compensation payments), nontaxable interest, workers' compensation, and unemployment compensation benefits, but not including outright gifts. "Service-connected disability compensation payments" means those payments made for permanent disability, which disability shall be limited to loss of or loss of use of both lower extremities so as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair; loss of use of both hands; blindness in both eyes, including such blindness with only light perception; or loss of one lower extremity together with residuals or organic disease or injury which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the use of a wheelchair.

(4) (a) The tax-equivalent amount for persons otherwise qualified who paid rent for the right to occupy premises, upon which ad valorem taxes were levied, as a residence during the taxable year shall be considered as twenty percent of the actual rent paid during the taxable year, not including any charge for utilities or food.

(b) To qualify as a tax-equivalent payment, rent must have been paid as a part of a bona fide tenancy or leasing agreement and shall not include any portion of payments made to institutions or facilities commonly known as nursing homes but shall include rent paid to a public housing authority and rent paid for the use of a mobile home or paid on trailer space if paid as a part of a bona fide tenancy.

39-31-102 - Procedures to obtain grant.

(1) A grant authorized by section 39-31-101 or 39-31-104 shall be paid from the reserve for refunds created by section 39-22-622. Claimants meeting all qualification requirements for an entire taxable year shall be entitled to a grant allowable pursuant to section 39-31-101 or 39-31-104. Grants paid pursuant to this subsection (1) shall be included for informational purposes in the general appropriation bill or in supplemental appropriation bills for the purpose of complying with the limitation on state fiscal year spending imposed by section 20 of article X of the state constitution and section 24-77-103, C.R.S.

(2) A grant authorized by section 39-31-101 or 39-31-104 shall be claimed on such forms as prescribed by the executive director.

(3) (a) If two or more persons, other than husband and wife, are entitled to a grant authorized by section 39-31-101 or 39-31-104, it may be claimed by either or any of such persons meeting the qualifications therefor. When two or more persons claim the grant for the same residence, the executive director is authorized to determine the proper allocation of such grant.

(b) No grant received pursuant to this section shall be treated as income for purposes of determining the eligibility of any person for old age pension benefits under article 2 of title 26, C.R.S.

(4) The property tax assistance grant shall in no case exceed the amount of the general property taxes actually paid. A grant for property taxes or tax-equivalent amounts paid under section 39-31-101 shall not be made unless properly claimed on or before the expiration of twenty-four months after the end of the income tax year during which such taxes or tax-equivalent amounts were actually paid.

(5) Any person who is claimed as an exemption for purposes of the Colorado income tax by any other person for the taxable year shall be ineligible for the grant authorized by this section.

(6) The grant for heat or fuel expenses shall in no case exceed the amount of the heat or fuel expenses actually paid and shall not be made unless the appropriate form claiming the same is filed with the department of revenue on or before the expiration of twenty-four months after the end of the taxable year for which such credit or refund is claimed.

39-31-103 - Notification of availability of assistance.

(1) The executive director shall prescribe and have prepared forms for the purpose of notifying individuals of the qualifying requirements for entitlement to a grant authorized pursuant to section 39-31-101 or 39-31-104. Such forms shall be provided annually in sufficient quantities to accomplish the following:

(a) Each county department of social services shall mail a copy of such form annually to all recipients of old age pensions within said county.

(b) The public employees' retirement association shall mail a copy of such form to all beneficiaries.

(c) Copies of such forms shall be made available to other public and private pension systems, including those established by congress, for purposes of notification of eligibility requirements.

39-31-104 - Heat or fuel expenses assistance - eligibility - applicability.

(1) (a) (I) Individuals having resided within this state for the entire taxable year who are sixty-five years of age or older during the taxable year shall be eligible for a grant to be determined with respect to the income taxes imposed by article 22 of this title to aid in the payment by such persons of heat or fuel expenses for residences occupied by such persons, subject to the additional qualification requirements of this section.

(II) For persons otherwise qualified who paid heat or fuel expenses indirectly as part of their rental payments, it shall be presumed that ten percent of the actual rent paid during the taxable year was for heat or fuel expenses. For rental payments to qualify under this subparagraph (II), they must have been paid as a part of a bona fide tenancy or lease agreement. Rental payments made to institutions or facilities commonly known as nursing homes shall not qualify, but rental payments made to a public housing authority or for the use of a mobile home shall qualify if paid as a part of a bona fide tenancy or lease agreement.

(b) (I) A husband and wife shall be treated as jointly qualifying for the grant under paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) if either meets the age requirement and they jointly meet all the limitations of subsection (3) of this section. In all cases, a husband and wife shall file one joint claim.

(II) A surviving spouse fifty-eight years of age or older shall be treated as qualifying for the grant under paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) if such surviving spouse meets all the limitations imposed by subsection (3) of this section.

(c) (I) The grant authorized by this section shall also be allowed to individuals having resided in this state for the entire taxable year and coming within the limitations imposed by subsection (3) of this section who, regardless of age, were disabled during the entire taxable year to a degree sufficient to qualify for the payment to them of full benefits from any bona fide public or private plan or source based solely upon such disability.

(II) An individual is disabled for the purposes of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (c) if such individual is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted for a continuous period of not less than twelve months.

(d) Eligibility under more than one provision of this subsection (1) shall not operate to increase the amount of any grant available to an individual or a husband and wife under subsection (2) of this section.

(e) The grant provided by this section shall apply to income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 1987.

(2) Such grant shall be as follows:

(a) In the case of an individual:

(I) For grants claimed for years commencing prior to January 1, 1999, one hundred sixty dollars reduced by six and four-tenths percent of the amount by which the individual's income exceeds five thousand dollars;

(II) For grants claimed for years commencing on or after January 1, 1999, one hundred ninety-two dollars reduced by three and two-tenths percent of the amount by which the individual's income exceeds five thousand dollars;

(b) In the case of a husband and wife:

(I) For grants claimed for years commencing prior to January 1, 1999, one hundred sixty dollars reduced by six and four-tenths percent of their income over eight thousand seven hundred dollars;

(II) For grants claimed for years commencing on or after January 1, 1999, one hundred ninety-two dollars reduced by three and two-tenths percent of their income over eight thousand seven hundred dollars.

(2.5) In 2000 and in every even-numbered year thereafter, the finance committees of the senate and the house of representatives shall examine the grant amounts and reduction percentages set forth in subsection (2) of this section, considering the level of federal poverty index and such other information as is available to the committees, and shall determine whether said amounts and percentages should be modified.

(3) Such grant shall be allowed to such persons as described in subsection (1) of this section who meet the following requirements:

(a) Are not claimed as an exemption for purposes of Colorado income tax by any other person for the taxable year;

(b) Have income from all sources for the taxable year of less than eleven thousand dollars if single or, in the case of a husband and wife, less than fourteen thousand seven hundred dollars including, but not limited to, for this purpose, alimony, support money, cash public assistance and relief, pension or annuity benefits, federal social security benefits, veterans' benefits (except those specific veterans' benefits that are service-connected disability compensation payments), nontaxable interest, workers' compensation, and unemployment compensation benefits, but not including outright gifts. "Service-connected disability compensation payments", as used in this paragraph (b), means those payments made for permanent disability, which disability shall be limited to loss of or loss of use of both lower extremities so as to preclude locomotion without the aid of braces, crutches, canes, or a wheelchair; loss of use of both hands; blindness in both eyes, including such blindness with only light perception; or loss of one lower extremity together with residuals or organic disease or injury which so affects the functions of balance or propulsion as to preclude locomotion without the use of a wheelchair.