El Paso County Commissioners today voted unanimously for a resolution “sending a strong message to the state legislature to continue funding a property tax exemption for seniors and disabled veterans.”
State budget shortfalls mean the longstanding Senior and Disabled Homestead Tax Exemption is in danger of being suspended. In El Paso county, 27,000 seniors are enrolled in the tax relief program.
“To put [it] in perspective, more seniors are enrolled in these programs than some of our neighboring counties have populations,” County Assessor Steve Schleiker said in a news release. “As Assessor, the Senior and Disabled Homestead programs have and will continue to be one of my highest priorities.
“We should not be balancing the budget on the back of our seniors or disabled veterans. They deserve to be honored and respected, and we need to ensure they receive every benefit they are qualified for.”
The county’s budget department also presented an update and proposed budget for the allocation of CARES Act funding.
Under the CARES Act, El Paso County received $125 million in federal relief funds to support the direct costs of public health and safety response efforts to the COVID-19 epidemic. The county previously allocated $41 million to local municipalities.
As outlined today, the remaining $84.4 million prioritizes “economic recovery, public safety, essential PPE and equipment for staff, and critical infrastructure to strengthen safety, security, and physical distancing in county buildings.”
The specific amounts are detailed in the tables below.
“COVID-19 has created a severe economic disruption to our community,” said Executive Director of Economic Development Crystal LaTier. “We are very thankful that this funding allows for some flexibility for us to do direct business relief.”