In November of 2000, Colorado voters passed Referendum A, which is a property tax exemption for senior citizens and the surviving spouses of senior citizens. If you qualify, you may see a 50% property tax exemption from the first $200,000.00 of actual value of your primary residence. The state reimburses the local governments for loss in revenue as the state budget allows.
How do you qualify as a senior citizen?
- The homeowner/applicant must be 65 years or older as of January 1st of the application year;
- The applicant or their spouse must be the property owner of record and must own the property for 10 consecutive years prior to January 1st of the application year; and
- The applicant must occupy the property as their primary residence, and must have done so for 10 consecutive years prior to January 1st of the application year.
How do you qualify as a surviving spouse of a senior citizen?
- The surviving spouse must have been legally married to a senior citizen who met the above requirements;
- The surviving spouse has not remarried; and
- The surviving spouse occupied the residential property with the eligible senior citizen as their primary residence and continues to do so.
There may be exceptions to basic requirements depending on what county your primary residence is in. For instance, in Arapahoe County, if an applicant cannot meet the ownership and/or occupancy requirements due to the following, they may still qualify upon review:
- The title to the property is held in a trust, a corporate partnership or other legal entity for strictly estate planning purposes. However, the trustor must be the qualifying senior citizen or their spouse.
- The qualifying senior citizen, spouse, or surviving spouse was/is confined to a hospital, nursing home, or assisted living facility.
- The prior home was condemned in a governmental eminent domain proceeding, or it was sold to a governmental agency upon threat of condemnation by eminent domain.
It is important to note, the exemption may only be claimed by the applicant on one property.
As you can see, there are various rules for qualifying for the Referendum A Senior Citizen Property Tax Exemption. For all applicable rules, requirements, and forms, visit the county tax assessor website in the county which your primary residence is.
To discuss creating a Trust with a qualified estate planning attorney at Ambler Keenan Mitchell Johnson call 303-407-1542 or click here to request a meeting.