What is Colorado Amendment E: Tax relief for Gold Star spouses

Amendment E, sent to the ballot by the legislature, would extend an existing property tax exemption to the spouses of servicemembers who died in the line of duty or from a service-related injury or illness. The provision currently exempts 50% of property taxes of the first $200,000 of a qualifying resident’s home value. A home valued at $150,000, for example, would be taxed as if it were worth $75,000 under the exemption. The ballot measure would extend that to Gold Star spouses. According to the state blue book, approximately 490 Coloradans would become eligible for the exemption next year should it be extended.

The case for: According to the blue book, extending the exemption would provide further support to Gold Star spouses. It would give them a benefit available to the surviving spouses of some other qualifying veterans, and it may help with any financial hardship associated with their loss.

The case against: The exemption will only benefit those spouses who own a home. The blue book also notes that the exemption was intended to help disabled veterans, whose employment opportunities may have been limited, account for that impact.

The ballot question: “Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning the extension of the property tax exemption for qualifying seniors and disabled veterans to the surviving spouse of a United States armed forces service member who died in the line of duty or veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease?”

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