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June 7, 2024

Signed! New Laws Will Save Seniors, Coloradans with Disabilities Money

DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis yesterday signed three bills into law to save seniors and Coloradans with disabilities money by allowing them to deduct all federally taxed social security income on their state taxes, reinstate a refundable tax credit to save older Coloradans money on housing, and expand a refundable tax credit for seniors with disabilities.

“The rising cost of living has been tough on our seniors with fixed incomes and those planning to retire soon,” said Rep. Junie Joseph, D-Boulder, sponsor of HB24-1142. “This bipartisan law saves eligible seniors and retired veterans with disabilities money by allowing them to deduct all federally taxed social security income on their state taxes. By increasing the cap of non-taxable social security income, we’re helping ensure eligible seniors receive more of their hard-earned benefits and have more money in their pockets to pay for groceries, rent and other necessities.”

“Older Coloradans on fixed incomes and those living with a disability are especially impacted by high costs of living,” Senator Faith Winter, D-Westminster, said, sponsor of HB24-1142. “HB-1142 removes the current cap of social security incomes that qualifying individuals can deduct on their taxes, which will keep money in the pockets of those who need it most.”

HB24-1142, also sponsored by Representative Richard Holtorf, R-Akron, and Senator Byron Pelton, R-Sterling, saves seniors money on their taxes. Under current law, taxpayers ages 55 to 64 may deduct up to $20,000 of pension and annuity income, which includes federally taxable social security income, when calculating their taxable income. For taxpayers 55 to 64 years of age and making $75,000 or less starting in 2025, this law allows all federally taxed social security income to be deductible in Colorado. 

Taxpayers over the age of 65 may already deduct the full amount of federally taxable social security income, or other forms of pension and annuity income up to $24,000. This bill would lower the age to ensure eligible Coloradans aged 55 to 64 can benefit from the full deduction. The current cap still applies to all other forms of pension and annuity income, and the cap may only be exceeded when social security income specifically is higher than the cap. 

HB24-1052 reinstates a refundable income tax credit for Coloradans aged 65 or older with incomes under $75,000 (or $125,000 if filing jointly) who have not claimed a homestead property tax exemption for the 2024 property tax year. The income tax credit was initially created by HB22-1205.

“Amidst our statewide housing crisis, seniors on fixed incomes need additional relief to afford their rent and stay in their homes,” said Senator Chris Hansen, D-Denver, sponsor of HB24-1052. “While we’ve worked hard to extend housing support through property tax relief and a portable homestead property tax exemption, we must do more to help seniors who rent. This refundable tax credit will help even more lower and fixed income seniors remain in the homes and communities they love.”

“The senior homestead property tax exemption is a helpful tool for seniors, who largely survive on a fixed income, to afford housing, but senior renters also deserve assistance,” said Rep. Bob Marshall, D-Highlands Ranch, sponsor of HB24-1052. “Renters are especially vulnerable to rising costs, with nearly 35 percent of Colorado seniors concerned over paying next month’s rent. Our new law works to ensure that all Colorado seniors, regardless of if they rent or own their home, can benefit from tax relief.”

“We’ve been working hard to support Colorado seniors, and especially those living on a low fixed income while renting, or who are not eligible for the senior homestead exemption, which is why I am so proud to champion this important legislation,” Senator Chris Kolker, D-Centennial, sponsor of HB24-1052 said. “This measure will save older Coloradans millions of dollars on housing, make our state a more affordable place to live, and ensure seniors can remain in the communities they have called home for years to come.”

“Housing affordability is a priority for Colorado Democrats, which is why we passed these laws to save our seniors, especially those with disabilities, money,” said Rep. Mike Weissman, D-Aurora, sponsor of HB24-1052 and HB24-1268. “Housing prices have skyrocketed in the last few years, making it nearly impossible for those with fixed incomes, such as seniors and people with a disability, to keep up which is why we’re reinstating an impactful housing tax credit for our seniors and improving a financial assistance program for those most in need. By converting the PTC to a streamlined, refundable income tax credit we’ll make it easier for eligible taxpayers to get the benefits they deserve so they can continue to afford to call our state home.”

HB24-1268 converts the Property Tax, Heat & Rent rebate, known as the PTC,  for persons with a disability to a new refundable income tax credit to expand financial support. This law will make it easier to claim the credit and increase utilization by integrating it into the tax filing system. The maximum credit amount is $1,200 for eligible single filers making less than $10,000 ($16,000 if filing jointly).

“Benefiting from the tax credits you’re eligible for should be easy, which is why we passed this law to ensure people with disabilities can more easily receive the financial support that is available to them,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Centennial, sponsor of HB24-1268. “I’m proud to have sponsored this important law that will help people with disabilities better afford expenses like property tax, rent, and utilities.”

“Currently, many eligible Coloradans may not know that the Property Tax, Heat & Rent Rebate is available to them,” said Senator Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, sponsor of HB24-1268. “HB-1268 will expand the rebate to more Coloradans living with disabilities, with a projected utilization increase of 1000 percent! This is a great win for communities most vulnerable to housing instability.”

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