Following voter approval of Referendum A in the 2000 General Election, the senior homestead property tax exemption became available beginning in property tax year 2002. The number of seniors claiming the exemption has grown over time, from 123,326 qualifying seniors in 2002 to 234,677 seniors as of tax year 2015. Local governments are required to be reimbursed by the state for the impact of the exemption. In FY 2015-16, this reimbursement totaled $124.5 million from the state General Fund.
More than 30 legislative measures have been introduced since enactment of the exemption that have or would have impacted the exemption if signed into law. Measures include bills that reduced the exemption to zero following economic downturns, several measures seeking to expand the exemption to individuals who move into another home owned in Colorado, and two measures seeking to means test the exemption.