Kicks off education initiative around the Homestead Tax Exemption
Fort Collins, Colorado – AARP staff and volunteer leadership applauded the signing of House Bill 1326, bi-partisan legislation that allows for a cost of living adjustment for the Old Age Pension and re-instates dental care services to seniors on OAP while extending dental care services to persons 65 and older who only qualify for the Medicare Savings Program. A late-in-session amendment to the bill designates any of the $98.5 Million unused by eligible Colorado residents will be directed to additional funding of the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), which provides home-and-community-based services such as Meals on Wheels. When Homestead was last funded, the unused figure was approximately $770,000, but that figure will vary based on home assessments and the usage by eligible residents.
“It is very gratifying to see the Legislature, the senior community, and those who serve the elder population come together to advocate for this additional funding stream. While this is a creative idea that will hopefully allow those who can to forego their Homestead Tax Exemption in a painless way, it in no way addresses the need for a long-term increase in funding to ensure the support of senior services,” said Dennis Valentine, AARP volunteer Legislative Coordinator. “My wife and I are going to participate in this program because it will provide needed services for older Coloradoans and allow them to stay in their homes.”
According to a 2004 statewide needs assessment, if the AAA were to expand their services to meet all of their identified needs, the cost was estimated at $97 million and projected to grow to $162 million by 2012. Currently the state provides approximately $9 million and the Federal Government approximately $10 million in funding for the AAA.
AARP and other community partners serving the senior population are starting an education initiative so that eligible homeowners 65 plus can choose to forego receiving their tax exemption. Interested parties should contact their county treasurer by September 15.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social welfare organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP’s millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.