Lawmakers pass wildfire tax benefit

DENVER – The Legislature on Wednesday passed an extension of a tax deduction for wildfire mitigation, a bill sponsored by Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango.

The state has offered a tax deduction for clearing brush and creating firebreaks around homes, but the deduction is scheduled to expire in July.

Roberts’ House Bill 1012 extends the tax benefit through 2024.

It passed the Senate 33-1. It already has passed the House and now goes to Gov. John Hickenlooper for final approval.

The bill allows homeowners to deduct half the cost of their wildfire mitigation work, up to $2,500, from their taxable income. Only about 1,600 Coloradans have taken advantage of the benefit in the last three years.

“This is not as well-known as we’d like it to be. It’s not as big as we’d like it to be,” Roberts said during debate Friday.

The Falls Creek and Forest Lakes subdivisions in La Plata County have been especially good with fire mitigation and could be helped by the bill, Roberts said.

jhanel@durangoherald.com

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