(Apr. 12) – The House gave preliminary approval to a pair of bills that will extend and increase tax credits for some of  the most vulnerable Coloradans.

Rep. Tony Exum’s bill, HB19-1013, to extend the low-income child care tax credit would help ease the childcare burden on hardworking families, roughly 32,000, in Colorado for another eight years.

“The high cost of child care places a burden on hardworking families in Colorado Springs and our state,” said Rep. Exum, D-Colorado Springs. “I was proud to sponsor this bill when I first got to the state capitol and hope we can continue helping thousands of Coloradan families afford child care every year.”

Rep. Exum and then-Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, were the original sponsors of this bill in 2014. HB14-1072 created a tax credit for families that earn $25,000 or less and is equal to 25 percent of the taxpayer’s child care expenses up to $500 for one child or $1,000 for two or more children.

The House also approved Rep. Shannon Bird and Rep. Brianna Titone’s bill to boost the supply of affordable housing in the state by expanding the Affordable Housing Tax Credit, which helps leverage private funding for affordable housing projects across the state.

“We’ve seen that this is a proven and effective method to helping people access affordable housing and grow the middle class,” said Rep. Bird, D-Westminster. “There is so much extra demand for these grants across the state, so we definitely see a need to expand this tax credit to accommodate the high demand.”

The Affordable Housing Tax Credit supports key affordable housing needs such as workforce housing, homeless housing and senior housing across Colorado, and is one of the state’s most effective tools for increasing affordable housing available across the state. Colorado’s Affordable Housing Tax Credit raises private sector equity needed to support the development and preservation of affordable rental housing. It currently is authorized to allocate only $5 million. HB19-1228 would increase the available tax credits to $10 million in 2020-24.

“We need to help ease the housing crunch. This bill will help seniors and hardworking people across our state,” said Rep. Titone, D-Arvada. “Access to affordable housing can help grow the middle class and our economy which will give back to Colorado in a lot of different ways.”

Between 2015 and 2018, the program supported 4,796 affordable rental units. The development of these homes is estimated to have generated over $1.9 billion in economic impact in Colorado.

Both bills were approved by a voice-vote. A final vote will be taken at a later date.

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