At today’s meeting, County Commissioners voted unanimously to support a resolution sending a strong message to the state legislature to continue funding a property tax exemption for seniors and disabled veterans. Due to state budget shortfalls, the longstanding Senior and Disabled Homestead Tax Exemption is in trouble of being suspended. There are 27,000 seniors in El Paso County currently enrolled in the tax relief program.
“To put in perspective, more seniors are enrolled in these programs than some of our neighboring counties have populations,” said County Assessor Steve Schleiker. “As Assessor, the Senior and Disabled Veterans 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 Budget Department also presented an update and proposed budget for the allocation of CARES Act funding. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability Act (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.
The remaining $84 million presented today, 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 included in the presentation attached to this message.
“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.”
Senior and Disabled Veterans Homestead Tax Exemption Resolution
Update on El Paso County’s CARES Funding