Colorado’s homestead exemption will now extend to Gold Star spouses, the survivors of U.S. service members who died in the line of duty or of veterans who died as a result of a service-related injury or disease.
The measure passed with almost 88% of the vote as of 11 p.m. Tuesday, exceeding the 55% of voters’ support required. for a constitutional amendment to pass.
The state’s homestead exemption, which reduces the amount of property tax a homeowner owes, currently is available to people 65 years and older who have lived in their home for 10 years or longer. It is also available to veterans with a service-related permanent disability. With the passage of Amendment E, Gold Star spouses will now also receive the property tax break.
The homestead exemption is in the state constitution. It exempts 50% of the first $200,000 of a home’s value from taxation. The state legislature is authorized to increase or decrease the amount of value eligible for the homestead exemption.
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Last year, more than 266,000 older Coloradans and over 9,000 veterans claimed the exemption.
Around 490 Gold Star spouses who do not otherwise qualify for the exemption will now be eligible under the amendment, the legislature’s Legislative Council estimates. They will save on average between $480 and $630 each year.
The amendment will increase state spending by approximately $288,000 in fiscal year 2023-24 — which begins on July 1 — to cover reimbursements under the expanded benefit.