Click HERE for the Senior Property Tax Exemption Printable Short Form.|
In 2000, voters amended the Colorado Constitution with the adoption of Section 3.5 of Article X. The amendment, and subsequent legislation, created a property tax exemption for two groups of people: a) qualifying seniors, and b) the surviving spouses of seniors who previously qualified. The three basic requirements are; 1) the qualifying senior must be at least 65 years old on January 1 of the year in which he/she qualifies; 2) the qualifying senior must be the owner of record, and must have been the owner of record for at least ten consecutive years prior to January 1; 3) the qualifying senior must occupy the property as his/her primary residence, and must have done so for at least ten consecutive years prior to January 1.
For those who qualify, 50 percent of the first $200,000 of actual value of the property is exempted. The state will pay the exempted property tax. The exemption is effective January 1, 2002, and the exemption affects property taxes billed in 2003. If you own multiple residences, only one can be designated as your primary residence.
For the purpose of the exemption, "primary residence" is synonymous with ''residence'' as defined for voter registration purposes in Title 1, Article 1, Section 104(43), of the Colorado Revised Statutes. The statute is quoted as follows: '''Residence' means the principal or primary home or place of abode of a person, as set forth in section 1-2-102.'' Pertinent sections of 1-2-102(1), C.R.S. include the following:
(a) (I) The residence of a person is the principal or primary home or place of abode of a person. A principal or primary home or place of abode is that home or place in which a person's habitation is fixed and to which that person, whenever absent, has the present intention of returning after a departure or absence, regardless of the duration of the absence. A residence is a permanent building or part of a building and may include a house, condominium, apartment, room in a house, or mobile home. No vacant lot or business address shall be considered a residence.Two application forms have been created for the exemption. The attached ''Short Form'' is intended for qualifying seniors who meet each of the requirements stated above. The ''Long Form'' must be used by individuals applying under the surviving spouse option and for applicants applying as the qualifying senior who fall within certain exceptions to the occupancy and ownership requirements.
Exceptions to the occupancy and ownership requirements are as follows: 1) the ownership is in the spouse's name, who also occupies the property; 2) the ownership has been transferred to or purchased by a trust, corporate partnership or other legal entity solely for estate planning purposes; 3) the qualifying senior or his/her spouse was or is confined to a health care facility; 4) the prior residence was condemned in an eminent domain proceeding.
The Surviving spouse of an individual who previously qualified is someone that was married to a senior who met each of the application requirements on January 1 of 2002, or on any January 1 that occurred after that date. A surviving spouse must occupy the property as his or her primary residence, and must have done so with his or her spouse. Qualifications for the surviving spouse option are listed to the right under "Long Form Qualifications."
The application deadline for either form is July 15, of the year for which you are seeking exemption. The exemption must be applied for only once, and it remains in effect for subsequent years as long as the property ownership and occupancy do not change. Your county assessor has a brochure containing additional information about the exemption.
Applicant as surviving spouse of senior who previously qualified – The ownership requirement of your spouse may have been satisfied if you were the owner of record for all or a portion of the 10-year ownership time-frame when your spouse was alive. As the owner of record, you occupied the property with your spouse as your primary residence.
Senior Property Tax Exemption In Colorado
Short Form Instructions
Please provide your name, social security number and date of birth. (Your spouse should be identified in section 6, even if he or she also qualifies.)