Seniors and Veterans Deserve a Break

By Senator Larry Liston (R-Colorado Springs)

 

There is a lot of talk this legislative session at the State Capitol about making Colorado a more affordable place to live, work, and raise a family. I am committed to advancing solutions this session to address the rising cost of living in our state, especially when it comes to affordable housing. I have introduced measures to stop local governments from limiting the construction of new homes, recruit more students into the understaffed building trades, and make the senior and disbaled veterans property tax exemption more generous. 

 

This last bill is especially important to me because of the increasing property tax burden that has fallen on seniors and disabled veterans in our state. Consider the fact that in 1960 the median home price in the United States was about $178,000, expressed in today’s dollars, while the median home price in 2021 was $374,900. In Colorado, we have seen an explosion in home prices that far exceeds the national average due to our state's strong economy and the large number of people that have relocated here in recent years. According to the Zillow Home Value Index, the typical Colorado home in the middle price tier of listings was $224,000 in February 2012, that has climbed to $536,000 in February 2022. In other words, the price of a home in Colorado has more than doubled in just ten years, while it has taken the national median home price many decades to achieve the same growth.   

 

Rapidly rising home values translate to bigger property tax bills for seniors and disabled veterans on a fixed income. Many of these Coloradans purchased their homes years ago, long before the rapid increase in home prices of recent years, and are being taxed on the value of their home that has appreciated only on paper. Seniors and disabled veterans will not realize any of these gains unless they choose to sell their home, yet their property tax bill keeps getting larger. 

 

At a time when seniors and disabled veterans, many on a fixed income, are confronted with the highest rate of inflation in nearly 40 years, I do not believe it is fair to saddle these citizens with larger and larger property tax bills every year based on paper gains. I have introduced legislation with Representative Terri Carver (R-Colorado Springs), Senate Bill 22-093,  that will modify the property tax exemption for seniors and disabled veterans to apply to the first $400,000 of a home’s value, rather than the first $200,000, as current law provides. Our bill will also allow for the exemption to be portable when a senior or disabled veteran has to move to a different residence out of medical necessity; these Coloradans shouldn't lose their property tax exemption simply because a medical condition forced them to relocate. 

 

This bill, along with more than 40 others, are part of the recently revealed Republican Commitment to Colorado legislative package. Legislative Republicans are focused on making Colorado more affordable for the average family - which is why I’m hopeful this bill will become law this year.

 

Our senior citizens and disabled veterans are especially vulnerable to runaway inflation and higher taxes. I am pleased that my Democrat colleagues in the General Assembly have also expressed concerns about the rapidly rising cost of living in our state. Senate Bill 22-093 is an easy way for Democrats to turn their words into action; there is no reason why both parties should not rally around this bill to make Colorado more affordable for senior citizens and disabled veterans. That is the least we owe them. 

 

If you are interested in testifying in favor of Senate Bill 22-093, there is a committee hearing on Thursday in the Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee. All are welcome to share their input on the bill.

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Current Media
April 23, 2021

On the Road to East California

OP-Ed By Larry Liston
Click on the Link to open.

Previous News & Media 2019-2020

Equity in Access to Clinical Trials-Liston leading the way!!

March 04, 2020

-HB20-1232: Equity in Access to Clinical Trails

-The sponsors of the bill are Representatives Liston and Michaelson Jenet

-The benefits that the public can expect upon the passing of the bill is help with funding for cancer victims and funding for post clinical trial medical treatment for disadvantaged individuals and those in rural Colorado.

Assault on Colorado Oil & Gas

March 20, 2019

On Monday, March 18, the Democrats and Boulder liberals launched an all-day attack

on Colorado’s Oil and Gas Industry by introducing SB19-181, “Protect Public Welfare

for Oil and Gas Operations.” Do not let the title fool you, this bill is designed to cripple

Colorado’s Oil and Gas industry.

As a member of the Energy and Environment committee, we heard all day and into the

night from concerned citizens who work in the Oil and Gas industry, industry experts,

ranchers and farmers, mineral owners and others who wanted to protect one of

Colorado’s most important industries.

In the end, the scare tactics of environmental extremists, industry opponents and

supporters of last fall’s FAILED proposition 112 won the day. All the Democrats on the

committee voted FOR SB19-181, all of the Republicans voted NO. It is interesting to

note that none of the Democrats on the committee have significant Oil and Gas

operations in their districts and none represent rural Colorado which is greatly affected

by this legislation.

Briefly, what SB19-181 will do is to pile on more rules and regulations on an already

regulated and safe industry. The bill grants authority to the Director of the Oil and Gas

Conservation Committee to refuse any permit they so choose. It also allows any city or

town to promulgate any rules to regulate all aspects of Oil and Gas operations, including

control over citing, air quality and much more. In many cases this will give municipalities

whose goal it is to ban all development of Coloradans’ mineral property the ability to do

so. There are many negative points to this dangerous and insidious bill.

Make no doubt about it, as SB19-181 is fully implemented, over the next 10 years, it

could cause a reduction of 50% of new Oil and Gas production. It will cause a loss of

120,000 fewer jobs in all sectors of the economy, and a loss of $8 billion in tax revenue

through 2030. Last but not least, there will be a loss of over $150 billion in GDP from

2020-2030 to Colorado’s overall economy.

In all my years in the legislature, I have never seen such a determined attack on one

industry in Colorado. Our Oil and Gas experts, industry professionals and elected

officials from the Oil and Gas producing counties were never consulted in drafting this

bill by the bill’s sponsors. SB19-181 as currently amended will cause significant harm to

our economy by the end of 2019. As always I welcome your comments and it is my

honor to represent you at the Capitol.

Sincerely,

 

Representative Larry Liston

Fighting for Preemies!!!

April 04, 2019

I , along with Rep. Lois Landgraf fought for and secured additional funding for Doctors and nurses who save and help pre-mature babies.  This was a great addition to the budget.  I was proud to fight for the medical professionals and especially for the most vulnerable people, the preemies.

Exonerated!!!

March 25, 2019

Today I went on the floor to explain to the 
House that President Trump has been totally exonerated.  The country needs to unite and move beyond the partisan “witch-hunt “.

How to work a bill...Rep. Liston finds support for special district voting

February 19, 2019

It's called "how to work a bill." 

On Friday, Republican state Rep. Larry Liston of Colorado Springs fought for the political life of a bill allowing non-Colorado residents to vote in special district board elections.

House Bill 1108 would allow property owners — say, for example, those who own second homes in Colorado — to vote for members of the board of directors for special districts in which they reside.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE!

Legislator of the Year award from the Colorado March of Dimes.

February 05, 2019

Rep. Larry Liston received the 2018 “Legislator of the Year” award from the Colorado March of Dimes.  He received the award for his work and sponsorship of the New Born Infant Screening bill in 2018, which updated all new born tests for babies in Colorado.

Iron Skillet Award

January 09, 2019

Sen Gardner and I received this award from the Colorado Restaurant Association on Jan. 9th.  They recognized us for carrying legislation that helped Colorado’s Restaurants run more efficiently and saving them thousands of dollars in lost inventory costs.  We were only two of 100 legislators to receive this distinguished award.

CACI Endorsement

August 10, 2018

The Colorado Chamber of Commerce, CACI, released its 2018 Legislative Endorsements, and we are excited to announce that Larry Liston has been endorsed!  Link to a video of our candidate interview process held over 4 days in July, as well as the full endorsement list below. Colorado Chamber of Commerce.

Walgreens underwriting unwanted drug program...

July 11, 2018

Walgreens is actively underwriting an unwanted drug program where people can drop off any unwanted prescription drugs in a safe and convenient way. This is a great program and idea that will help keep unwanted and unsafe prescription drugs from getting into the wrong hands. Here you see Larry Liston, along with the Mayor and other members of the Colorado State Government at a local Walgreens. 

Squatters Bill

May 08, 2018

Just a few minutes ago we finally passed the so called “Squatters “bill.  It is finally done.  It now goes to the Governors desk for his signature.  Long road, but well worth it.  FYI, I was the Republican CO-prime sponsor. Thanks to all of involved.  Rep. Larry Liston 

PERA Bill

April 25, 2018

Larry trying to improve the PERA bill on the House floor.

New born Infant Screening Bill: HB-1006

April 20, 2018

Reps. Larry Liston and Millie Hamner presenting HB-1006, the New Born Infant Screening bill last night.  This bill will dramatically help all new born infants start a healthy life and put their parents at ease, knowing that their children will lead healthy lives.  Great bill, lots of work to get it out of the House.

 

Rep.Larry Liston

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