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Lawmakers to propose tax breaks for Colorado families

Senate president explains tax credit bill

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Senate President John Morse plans to introduce a bill that would offer tax credits for Colorado families, when the Colorado General Assembly reconvenes.

Senate Bill One, the Colorado Working Families Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 proposes three tax credits. One would be for families who earn up to $60,000, the second would be for families with children and the third would be for families who provide for someone like children or an elderly parent.

"If you've got a single mom with two kids, making $32,000 a year, she'd get about $720 worth of credit that she would then be able to use to pay for childcare, pay for medical expenses, pay for transportation expenses, those kinds of things" Senator Morse said.

He said families receiving the tax credits wouldn't be the only ones affected. He said the small businesses that employ them would also benefit, as workers would be able to attend work more consistently. And he said by spending that money they keep, those individuals would stimulate the economy.

Senator Morse estimates about $370,000 families would qualify for the tax credits. That would add up to $120,000 in tax credits. The question is whether that money should stay in taxpayers' pockets, or if the state can use it for other things. Southern Colorado residents have mixed opinions.

"Right now, I think the way the economy is, we really should help out as many families  as we can," resident Kathy King said. "People are hard-pressed right now, and I think that should be our priority."

But resident Jarek Krych said he isn't sure how much the tax credits would help. He said he's worried about the state's finances, and would rather see changes to simplify the tax code.

"I certainly agree, that they may need the extra help, I'm definitely for it, but I think there is also room for tax code improvement that should take place in the first place."

If Bill One is approved, taxpayers who qualify for the tax credits would be able to adjust their withholdings as soon as it passes, or file them in the 2014 tax filing season.

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