Military and Veteran Colorado Laws – New in 2018

The 2018 Colorado Legislature passed several military and veteran related laws designed to help those military members and veterans who are or have served their country.

HB18-1060: Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits – allows an income tax deduction for military retirement benefits received by individuals under age 55. The deduction is available for tax years 2019 through 2023 and there is a cap. In 2019 the cap is up to $4,500, in 2020 the cap is up to $7,500, in 2021 the cap is up to $10,000, in 2022 and 2023, the cap is up to $15,000.

HB18-1078: Court Programs for Veterans – requires courts to determine if defendants are active serving military members or veterans.  If the defendants are or were part of the military, the court must notify them they are entitled to mental health treatment, substance use treatment and other veteran services.  If the defendant completes a veteran treatment program, the court must receive favorable consideration of record sealing requests from the veteran.

HB18-1218: Definition of Veterans’ Organizations for Sales and Use Tax – expands the sales and use tax exemptions for veterans’ charitable organizations beginning July 1, 2018. Under current law, only events, meetings, or other functions held by veterans’ organizations are exempt from sales and use tax. Under this bill, regular activities of the organizations will also be exempt.  The bill will treat veterans’ organizations registered under section 501 (c)(19) of the federal internal revenue code the same way as veterans’ organizations registered under section 501 (c)(3).

HB18-1228: Transparency in Military Higher Education Statutes – repeals and relocates higher education statutes related to the military without substantive changes.

HB18-1244: Honor the Service of Submarine Veterans – creates a submarine service military license plate for honorably discharged, retired, or active members of the submarine service of the U.S. Navy.   The license plate costs $50.

HB18-1337: Veterans One Stop Center in Grand Junction – authorizes the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) to operate a one-stop veterans service center in Grand Junction.   The program is up for a sunset review in 2023.

HB18-1343: Veterans’ Service-to-career Program – continues the Veterans Service-to-Career Grant Program in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment through January 1, 2024.  The Veterans’ Service-to-career Pilot Program was created in 2016.  It authorized non-profit agencies to partner with workforce centers to provide training, internships, work placement, career counseling, and other work related supports to veterans.  HB 1343 expanded eligibility for the program, extended it to 2024, increases administrative overhead limits, and requires CDLE to develop a method to measure the program’s outcomes.

HB18-1361: Eligibility for Veteran Vietnam War License Plate – extends the end date to be eligible for a veteran of the Vietnam war specialty license plate from January 27, 1973, to July 1, 1975.