Thursday, May 26, 2016

House Bill 16-1444 Passes Colorado Legislature Unanimously - Governor signs May 27

Thanks to the efforts of state Senator Keffalas and his colleagues, the conflict between Article X Section 3.5 of the Colorado constitution and its enabling legislation will be resolved tomorrow when the Governor signs House Bill 16-1444.

The constitution provided a modest property tax exemption to both VA 100% disabled veterans and military retired 100% disabled servicemembers. BUT...someone writing the subsequent legislation forgot the military and only specified VA, denying hundreds of retired totally disabled servicemembers the exemption guaranteed by the constitution. only took three months from mentioning the problem to Senator Keffalas, getting the support of the United Veterans Committee, and even the state Division of Military and Veterans Affairs, and the correction simply sailed through both houses without a dissenting vote. problem solved, and next we move on to the shameful discrimination suffered by Colorado's war widows and widowers, who are denied the property tax exemption afforded disabled veterans' survivors.

Why the exclusion of war widows and widowers? Because the constitution only provides the property tax exemption to those whose veteran husband/wife was in receipt of the exemption before the veteran's death. Logically, a soldier who dies in a roadside bomb or hostile artillery fire doesn't make it home to complete Colorado's application, but illogically, his/her survivor is denied the property tax exemption.

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