New laws mean new rules for rebates
Aspen, CO Colorado
New state laws requiring verification of legal presence in the country may mean more hoops for low-income senior and disabled citizens seeking rebates from the state.
Those seeking the rebate can apply anytime in 2007 to receive compensation for property taxes, rent or heat in 2006 or 2005.
“This is a program for the elderly and the disabled,” said Kathy Pugliese, public information specialist with the state department of revenue. “It was set up by the federal government to get them up to poverty level.”
Pugliese’s office recently issued a press release to notify eligible applicants that the changes to the law might require they update their identification documents.
Anyone applying for a rebate must prove legal citizenship or ” lawful presence” in the United States by providing a copy of a valid Colorado driver’s license or state identification card. Other acceptable IDs are a Native American Tribal Document, a U.S. military ID card or Military Dependent’s ID card or a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card. Photocopies of business card- sized documents must be enlarged to 3 inches by 5 inches.
Pugliese urges people to get their IDs as soon as possible. The state allows some waivers through March 1, but she said next year, all applicants must have proper ID. Details on how to qualify for waivers are online at http://www.revenue.state.co.us under ” Evidence of Lawful Presence: HB06- 1023,” or call the automated help line at (303) 205-8358.
The state recognizes not all people who are eligible for the rebate can get to the Department of Motor Vehicles, she said. Seniors and disabled citizens who do not drive or who have trouble getting to a nearby DMV to obtain IDs can call (303) 205- 5600 or (303) 238- 7378 to have forms mailed to them, or they can look for the forms online at http://www.taxcolorado.com and link to “forms” on the left side to find the PTC form.
Single applicants for the rebate cannot make more than $11,000, and married couples are capped at $14,700. Part-time residents are not eligible. Under the new laws, new residents are no longer eligible for the rebate until they have lived in Colorado for at least one full year. Senior citizens must be at least 65 years old, but surviving spouses of eligible seniors only need to be 58 or older. The disabled of any age are eligible if they were disabled for the entire year for which they are applying for a rebate.
The address on the PTC form must match the address on the applicant’s ID card, or the application will be denied.
Abigail Eagye’s e- mail address is email@example.com.