The House Finance Committee unanimously passed state Rep. Cheri Gerou’s measure to extend tax incentives for wildfire mitigation yesterday.
“This bill addresses some issues the Lower North Fork Fire Commission was established to resolve,” Gerou, R-Evergreen, explained. “With this bill we can help Coloradans prevent future disasters from occurring.”
House Bill 1012 extends an income tax deduction for landowners taking appropriate preventative action against wildfires and extends the ability of the state to issue bonds to fund watershed protection and forest health projects. Some of the wildfire prevention measures include creating space around structures, creating of fuel breaks, thinning woody vegetation and other practices that meet or exceed Colorado State Forest Service standards or state rules.
“Preventative measures go a long way toward reducing the threat of fire. This bill incentivizes good decision making,” Gerou added.
House Bill 1012 now moves to House Appropriations Committee for further consideration.
Gerou is also sponsoring another bill that will continue the work of the Lower North Fork Fire Commission, House Bill 1031, which would bring aid to local areas that do not have the resources needed to deal with wildfire emergencies.
House Bill 1031 makes sure that there is a financially sound system in place to deal with emergency situations.
Gerou hopes to present House Bill 1031 heard in the House Judiciary Committee next week.