Childcare Tax Credits for Colorado Parents

(Feb. 27) – A bill by Reps. Brittany Pettersen and Tony Exum, Sr., to extend the low-income childcare tax credit for the next three years passed the House Finance Committee with a 12-1 vote.

“The costs of childcare are extremely expensive in Colorado and place a huge burden on working families in Colorado Springs and across the state,” said Rep. Exum, D-Colorado Springs. “Childcare can even cost more than a mortgage or rent. This tax credit helps working families to be able to go to work and care for their children.”

“We sponsored this bill together three years ago and we’re happy to see that this credit is now helping 32,000 Coloradan families afford childcare every year,” said Rep. Pettersen, D-Lakewood. “That’s why we’re here again to make sure this credit can continue to help families who are struggling to afford childcare while they’re at work.”

Colorado law provides an income tax credit for child care expenses to families with an income of $60,000 or less. In years past, Colorado’s state child care tax credit was based on a percentage of the federal credit claimed. Because low-income parents earned too little to pay federal income taxes, those working families got little, if any, of the state credit.

HB14-1072, also sponsored by Reps. Pettersen and Exum, fixed that by creating a separate tax credit. The credit is 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.

HB17-1002 extends the credit until the 2019 tax year. The bill now proceeds to the House Appropriations Committee.

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