Exum’s Wildfire Mitigation Bill Passes House

H-Exum-OfficialExum’s Wildfire Mitigation Bill Passes House

(April 7) – The House gave bipartisan approval today to a bill to encourage Coloradans to reduce the threat that their homes will be destroyed by wildfire.

HB14-1009, sponsored by Rep. Tony Exum (D-Colorado Springs), increases incentives for property owners to undertake fire mitigation efforts in the so-called wildland-urban interface, where our wild areas intermingle with Colorado’s growing communities. The bill eliminates the wildfire mitigation income tax deduction, which only knocks a few hundred dollars off a tax bill, and replaces it with a wildfire mitigation state income tax credit of up to $2,500.

The credit will equal 50 percent of the costs a taxpayer incurs performing wildfire mitigation on his or her property in a wildland-urban interface zone.

“Our goal is to make our communities safer, and to make them safer for our firefighters,” Rep. Exum said. “I’m hoping the increased incentives will encourage many property owners in the Pikes Peak Region and across Colorado to be more proactive about reducing the chance that they will lose their homes to a future wildfire.”

Rep. Exum’s bill was endorsed by the bipartisan Wildfire Matters Review Committee, of which he is a member, and is a priority in helping Colorado make the fullest possible recovery from the flood and fire disasters that struck the state in 2013.

The House’s 52-12 vote sent the bill to the Senate.

Bipartisan Disaster Relief Package Moves Forward

Bipartisan Disaster Relief Package Moves Forward

H-Exum-Official(Jan. 29) – Four disaster relief and prevention bills passed with bipartisan support in committee today. Two of the bills dealt specifically with wildfire prevention while the other two emerged from the Flood Disaster Study Committee.

HB14-1009, sponsored by Rep. Tony Exum (D-Colorado Springs), will create a tax credit up to $2,500 for homeowners who take actions around their homes to mitigate the threat of fires. It passed the Finance Committee on a bipartisan 10-2 vote and is headed to the House Appropriations Committee.

“This bill will reward homeowners who are reducing the threat of fire around their property and creating safer neighborhoods,” Rep. Exum said. “Ultimately this is about protecting people’s lives and their property and creating safer environments for firefighters to work in.”

The Finance Committee also approved HB14-1006, by Rep. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont), which targets businesses that saw their profits plunge after the September floods and will increase their access to state revenues unanimously. The bill is headed to the House Appropriations Committee

“This is about building for the future and cutting red-tape for businesses,” Rep. Singer said. “It will increase tourism by allowing businesses to more easily advertise to potential tourists.”

Earlier in the day the House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed HB14-1010 by Rep. Millie Hamner (D-Dillon) to clarify regulations about who may oversee a prescribed burn. The bill will now be heard on the House floor.

“The bill will give our hard-working firefighters the support they need to prevent more wildfires across Colorado,” Rep. Hamner said. “This is especially important in my district because many residents live in high wildfire danger areas.”

HB14-1003 by Reps. Lori Saine (R-Firestone) and Dan Nordberg (R-Colorado Springs) to exempt out-of-state disaster relief workers from Colorado income taxes also passed the Finance Committee 11-0 and will move the House Appropriations Committee.