STATE BILL COLORADO
Here’s how Colorado news organizations covered testimony Wednesday on 11 bills pushed by the Ritter Administration that would disallow tax exemptions — in other words, raise taxes — for certain businesses.
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House Appropriations Committee:
The Denver Post: A marathon committee hearing continued late into the night Wednesday as a flood of business groups argued against eliminating $132 million of tax credits and exemptions as a way to help balance the state budget. Rep. Jack Pommer, a Boulder Democrat carrying several of the 11 bills in the package, said at the outset of the House Finance Committee hearing that foes of nixing the tax breaks needed to suggest where else to cut.
Denver Business Journal: In a likely sign of things to come, the Colorado House Finance Committee approved the first of 13 proposed tax-exemption cuts — a three-year suspension of the sales-tax exemption on direct-mail advertising materials — on a party-line vote Wednesday afternoon. Committee members Thursday are scheduled to consider 13 proposed exemption suspensions or eliminations that would add $125.8 million to the state’s coffers as a budget-balancing measure.
The Durango Herald: The tax changes include three that affect farmers and ranchers – credits for bull semen, pesticides and electricity used in irrigation. The irrigation bill also would tax energy used in manufacturing. The GOP and businesses especially oppose that bill, which would bring $56.7 million next year.
Associated Press: Colorado lawmakers on Wednesday gave initial approval to bills taxing Internet purchases, junk mail, candy and soft drinks after Gov. Bill Ritter said lawmakers need to cut another $50 million from the state budget this year. Dozens of businessmen, workers, educators and individuals packed a House hearing room and overflowed into the foyer to testify on 11 bills to eliminate tax breaks. The hearing continued late into the night.
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel: The same day Gov. Bill Ritter announced more cuts in state services, a legislative panel considered a flurry of bills that would eliminate or suspend several tax exemptions. Ritter said Wednesday another projected decrease in tax revenue and an unexpected increase in Medicaid cases are largely the reasons why he needed to trim spending by another $50 million on top of the $2 billion he and the Colorado Legislature have had to cut over the past two years.