Child-care tax credit extension sought

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Under current law, Coloradans can receive tax credit for contributing to child-care facilities. But that credit expires at the end of 2004. To extend the deadline and further promote child care, Sen. Jack Taylor, R-Steamboat Springs, is carrying a bill to the Senate that would extend the child-care tax credit until Jan. 1, 2010.

The original law, passed in 2000, provides any taxpayer who makes a monetary or real estate contribution to a qualifying child-care facility in Colorado the opportunity to claim an income tax credit worth 50 percent of the total contribution.

The bill, HB 1119, which passed the house Tuesday on a 55-9 vote, also would expand the definition of "child-care facility" to include foster homes, secure residential treatment centers and other facilities that do no qualify for the credit under current guidelines.

"It's a great program that I whole-heartedly support," Taylor said. "It has a lot of support. I don't know of much opposition to it. It's just something we need to do."

Contributions from the tax credit program are used to build or remodel child-care centers, purchase learning materials and provide scholarship support to needy families.

"The Child Care Tax Credit is an effective tool that stimulates fund-raising efforts by the organizations providing child-care services," Taylor said in a prepared statement. "By extending the credit, we enhance the efforts of child-care facilities. By expanding the eligibility, we can provide even more options and availability for Colorado families."

The bill has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee, which Taylor chairs. A hearing date has not been set.

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