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Mar 27, 2012 8:25 AM by Kate Richards

Senior tax break fight already over

DENVER (AP) - Colorado's improving economy has helped lawmakers avoid the most contentious debate of the year - restoring a suspended property tax break for senior citizens.

Lawmakers learned Monday that sunny fiscal projections mean the state won't have to choose between giving a property tax break to seniors or restoring some education cuts.

But one issue pending is whether to cut 2 percent across all state agencies. Some lawmakers worry that will lead to layoffs.

The latest budget projections showed Colorado with nearly $200 million to spare after setting aside nearly $100 million to ease property taxes on some seniors.

State budget writers also voted Monday to add an extra $57 million to public schools to avoid reductions in per-pupil funding as enrollment increases.

The budget is expected to be introduced in the Republican-controlled House next week.

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