DENVER, CO – The House Energy and Environment Committee today passed three bills that will save Coloradans money on wildfire mitigation efforts and help prevent wildfires.
The bills passed today continue to build on the legislature’s work from prior sessions to invest additional resources in wildfire mitigation and recovery. Last session, the legislature dedicated over $100 million to prevent and mitigate the destructive impact of wildfires in our state and help our natural environment recover from previous fires.
“As wildfires become more frequent, we’re working in a bipartisan way to help homeowners save money on mitigation measures to protect their property and prevent wildfires,” said Rep. Donald Valdez, D-La Jara. “These bills will help our communities move forward after wildfires and fund local efforts to remove debris and restore damaged lands after a fire.”
Saving Homeowners Money on Wildfire Mitigation: HB22-1007, sponsored by Representatives Donald Valdez and Mike Lunch, passed unanimously and would save people money on wildfire mitigation measures. The bill extends an existing income tax deduction and creates a state income tax credit to reimburse landowners for the costs incurred in performing wildfire mitigation measures on their property. A landowner with a federal taxable income at or below $120,000 is allowed a state income tax credit equal to 25% of mitigation costs, up to $625 per year. It also creates a grant program to fund local outreach efforts to communicate best practices in wildfire mitigation and prevention to landowners.
“Colorado is seeing more frequent and intense wildfires as a result of our changing climate; with these bills, Coloradans will save money on their mitigation efforts and help prevent wildfires,” said Rep. Lisa Cutter, D-Jefferson County. “Wildfire prevention, mitigation and recovery is going to be a big focus of our work this session, and I’m excited to see the hard work begin to support homeowners and local governments to help us meet the challenges ahead.”
Wildfire Mitigation and Recovery: HB22-1012, sponsored by Representatives Lisa Cutter and Donald Valdez, passed by a vote of 11-1. The bill expands the Forest Restoration and Wildfire Risk Mitigation Grant Program to support efforts by counties to promote the recovery of forested lands from wildfires by removing deadwood and other potential fuels as well as debris from wildfires.
“I’m proud of the bipartisan legislation we’re working on this session to save people money on wildfire mitigation and prevention and support local governments,” said Rep. Marc Snyder, D-Manitou Springs. “Wildfire isn’t a Republican or a Democratic idea. That’s why we’re working together to support our communities and continue the progress we’ve made to reduce the threat communities face from wildfires.”
Wildfire Mitigation Incentives For Local Governments: HB22-1011, sponsored by Representatives Lisa Cutter and Marc Snyder, passed by a vote of 9-3 and would leverage local and private funds through a matching grant program to provide resources to local governments for forest management and wildfire mitigation efforts. By incentivizing local governments to identify dedicated long-term funding for wildfire mitigation, the bill makes smart investments to maximize state resources and encourage sustainable local and state funding for wildfire mitigation efforts.