On May 11th the General Assembly ended the 2016 session. In total, 789 bills were introduced. CAR tracked 65 bills and took a position on 37 of them. A split Legislature with Republicans controlling the Senate and Democrats controlling the House meant every bill sent to the Governor for his signature had to have bipartisan support.
The First-time Homebuyer Savings Account (HB-1467), initiated by CAR, was sent to the Governor for signature on May 10. A First-time Homebuyer Savings Account (FHSA) allows any Coloradan to set aside up to $50,000 toward the costs of purchasing a new home. The earnings on those funds — interest and capital gains — are free from Colorado state taxes forever. FHSAs are a great way for future homeowners to start saving early for the costs of buying a home.
CAR also initiated Increase Wildfire Mitigation Income Tax Deduction (HB16-1286), sponsored by Representative KC Becker (Boulder) and Senator Jack Tate (Centennial). The bill was sent to the governor on May 6th. It increases the percentage of the wildfire mitigation state income tax deduction from 50 percent to 100 percent of the costs incurred for performing wildfire mitigation on a taxpayer’s property. The tax deduction cannot exceed $2,500 per income tax year or the total amount of the taxpayer’s federal taxable income, whichever is less. The increased income tax deduction will be available for tax years 2017 through 2019.