Bipartisan Bills Help Needy Military Families, Extend Wildfire Mitigation Tax Break

(Jan. 23) – Two bills with bipartisan sponsorship sailed unanimously through the House Finance Committee this afternoon.

HB13-1024, by freshmen Reps. Jovan Melton (D-Aurora) and Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs), clarifies that charitable grants made by the Colorado Military Family Relief Fund are not subject to income tax.

“It was the first vote on my first bill, and I’m glad to have Rep. Nordberg as my cosponsor,” Rep. Melton said. “He’s from Colorado Springs, home of Fort Carson; I’m from Aurora, home of Buckley Air Force Base. It’s good that we could get together to bring this measure forward.”

The previous bill considered by the Finance Committee was HB13-1012, sponsored by Speaker Pro Tem Claire Levy (D-Boulder) with Rep. Cheri Gerou (R-Evergreen). The bill extends tax deductions of up to $2,500 for homeowners who clear trees from their property or take other steps to reduce the severity of Colorado’s wildfire epidemic.

Paul Cooke, director of the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the Department of Public Safety, testified that last year more than 4,000 Colorado wildfires burned 385,000 acres, killing six people, destroying 648 structures and causing $538 million in direct property losses.

“I always feel a little bit better about my day’s work at the Capitol when I’ve accomplished something in bipartisan fashion,” Rep. Levy said.

Both bills are headed to the Appropriations Committee.

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