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Disabled Veterans Tax Exemption

History

In 2006, Colorado voters approved Referendum E, amending section 3.5 of article X of the Colorado Constitution. The amendment and subsequent legislation expanded the senior property tax exemption to include "qualifying disabled veterans."

For disabled veterans who qualify, 50 percent of the first  $200,000 of actual value of the veteran’s primary residence is exempted. The state will reimburse the county treasurer for the lost revenue. The exemption is effective January 1, 2007, on property tax bills sent beginning in 2008. Owners of multiple residences may only designate one property as their primary residence.

Eligibility Requirements

A “qualifying disabled veteran” is a person who meets each of the following requirements - § 39-3-202(3.5), C.R.S.

  • The veteran sustained a service-connected disability while serving on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States. This includes members of the National Guard and Reserves who sustained their injury during a period in which they were called to active duty.
  • The veteran was honorably discharged.
  • The federal Department of Veterans Affairs has rated the veteran's service-connected disability as a one hundred percent permanent disability through disability retirement benefits pursuant to a law or regulation administered by the department, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or the Department of the Army, Navy, or Air Force.

Property Requirements - §§ 39-3-202(2) and (3) and 203(1.5) to (5), C.R.S:

  • The veteran must own the property and must have been an owner of record since January 1 of the current year. The veteran’s ownership can be limited to a fractional, joint, or life estate interest.
  • The property must be classified by the county assessor as residential.
  • If the veteran owns a multiple dwelling unit property, the exemption will only be granted to the unit occupied by the veteran as his or her primary residence.

Exceptions

If the veteran’s spouse is an owner and the veteran is not, the veteran can meet the ownership requirement if the couple was married on or before January 1 and both have occupied the property as their primary residence since January 1.

If the property is owned by a trust, corporate partnership, or other legal entity, the veteran will meet the ownership requirement if each of the following items is true: 1) the veteran or spouse is a maker of the trust or a principal of the corporate partnership or legal entity, 2) the property was transferred solely for estate planning purposes, and 3) the veteran or spouse would otherwise be the owner of record.

  • Occupancy – The veteran must occupy the property as his or her primary residence and must have done so since January 1. A primary residence is the place at which a person's habitation is fixed and to which that person, when absent, has the intention of returning. A person can have only one primary residence at any time.

If the veteran is registered to vote, the address used for voter registration is considered the veteran’s primary residence. If the veteran is not registered to vote, the address listed on automobile registrations, income tax returns, or other legal documents may be considered as evidence of the veteran’s place of primary residency. If the veteran is confined to a hospital, nursing home or assisted living facility, the property can be considered the veteran’s primary residence if it is occupied by a spouse or a financial dependent or if the property is unoccupied.

Application Procedures

Complete the application and mail or deliver it to the Colorado Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Division of Veterans Affairs, at the address listed in the Application Instructions. Completed applications must be postmarked or delivered no later than July 1 of the year for which the exemption is requested. To ensure that the application is timely filed, all of the information requested on the application, including a copy of your VA award letter, must be submitted by July 1. The Division of Veterans Affairs will make a determination on your status as a “qualifying disabled veteran,” and mail you a determination. If approved, the Division will forward your approved application to your county assessor for further review.

The county assessor will make a determination on whether the property requirements are met. If they are, the Assessor will place the exemption on your property, and it will remain in place for future years until a change in the status of your property requires that the exemption be removed. If one or more of the property requirements are not met, the assessor will mail you a letter explaining the reason(s) for denial, and provide you with instructions for appealing the Assessor’s decision to the County Board of Equalization. Denials issued by the Division of Veterans Affairs on an applicant’s status as a “qualifying disabled veteran” cannot be appealed to the County Board of Equalization.

Under no circumstances shall an exemption be allowed for property taxes assessed during any tax year prior to the year in which the veteran first files an exemption application. No more than one exemption per tax year shall be allowed for a residential property, even if one or more of the owner-occupiers qualify for both the senior exemption and the disabled veteran exemption.

If an individual or married couple applies for either or both the senior and disabled veteran exemptions on more than one property, the exemptions will be denied on each property.

Application Forms

Disabled Veteran Exemption Instructions and Application
Disabled Veteran Exemption for Surviving Spouse Instructions and Application

Additional Information

For additional information, please read the brochure  published by the State of Colorado.  If you have questions please contact the Assessor's Office at (970) 400-3650 or visit us at 1400 N 17th Avenue, Greeley.

   
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