Benefits in my Backyard: Colorado

Jonathan Kaupanger
April 20, 2018 - 12:49 pm

Dreamstime

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Colorado’s 395,007 veterans make up 7.2 percent of the state’s population. Colorado is the second fastest growing state in the Union. It is the most active state we have and Coloradans are the third most educated in the country. That said, no one can figure out if they are actually Coloradans, Coloradoans or even Coloradicals.

Getting high in Colorado is quite easy. The 13th step of the State Capitol Building is exactly one mile above sea level.  The world’s highest tunnel for cars is in the state, the highest railway train, highest incorporated city in the country, highest paved road and the highest suspension bridge. In fact, 75 percent of US land over 10,000 feet is all located in Colorado. Oh, and it was also the first state to legalize weed, so you can get high that way as well.

Veterans moving to the Centennial State should be aware of a few interesting laws. Take Denver example, you are banned from lending a vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor and mistreating rats in the city is illegal. In Fountain it’s illegal to have weeds in your yard and dandelions are illegal in Pueblo. Be very careful in Westminster because between 9 pm and 4 am, you can get busted for getting lost. And, if you’re into chickens as pets, sorry you aren’t allowed to keep them. You can, however, keep up to three turkeys or ducks.

Taxes

Military retirement pay is taxed in Colorado. Vets who are 55 – 65 years old may exclude up to $20k of their retirement pay as long as they hit the age requirement by Dec. 31 of the fiscal year. Veterans 65 and over may exclude up to $24,000.

  • Property Tax Deferral. If you are called into active duty, the state makes tax payments directly to the county on behalf of the participant. You must own and reside on the property.  File your application with your county treasurer between Jan 1 and April 1 of each year.  
  • Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption. Veterans with a 100 percent, VA rated disability may deduct 50 percent of the first $200k of the value of their home. This benefit may be used by the spouse of a deceased veteran. Application for disabled veterans and spouse. Call the Colorado Division of Veterans Affairs at (303) 284-6077 for more information.

Education

  • Tuition assistance for members of the Colorado National Guard covers up to 100 percent of tuition and can be used in conjunction with Federal tuition assistance. 

Career

  • Veterans receive preference points when testing for open and open non-promotional examinations for state jobs. Points are added to the final passing score. Points aren’t added after individual assessment components. Points are added after the final exam has been scored.
    • Five points are given to those with an honorable discharge and served during a war period.
    • Five points are given to the spouse of a veteran unable to work because of a service-connected disability.
    • Five points are given to the spouse of a deceased veteran who would be entitled to veterans’ preference.
    • Ten points are given to disabled veterans with a service-connected disability.
  • DORA: The Department of Regulatory Agencies provides professional support and customer service to military personnel, military spouses and veterans.
  • Connecting Colorado is the state’s primary website for jobseekers and employers.

Family

Entertainment

Housing

Cemetery and Burial

  • Veterans residing in the state are eligible to receive certain end of live benefits. Eligibility for burial is the same for VA national cemeteries, but this includes a residency requirement.
  • Eligibility Determination Form Pre-needs determination is intended to simplify and assist the veteran’s next-of-kin at the time of death. This does not reserve a plot or niche at the cemetery. There is no cost for this.

Links or Resources

 

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