Categorized | Miscellaneous

Democrats stifle attempt to chip away at loathed business tax

For the second year in a row Sen. Mark Scheffel championed the fight to eliminate Colorado’s business personal property tax — the bane of existence for many of the state’s businesses, ColoradoSenateNews.com reports.

“This tax is probably one of the most onerous that businesses in Colorado have to pay,” Scheffel said. “Re-evaluating it would give a significant boost to Colorado’s business economy. It is a discussion that needs to be continued.”

Scheffel, a Republican from Douglas County, introduced two measures, Senate Bill 85 and Senate Bill 86, both of which would have brought the business personal property tax one step closer to extinction. Both bills were killed by the Democrat controlled State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

SB 85 would have launched a pilot program to reimburse five counties for revenue lost as a result of a business personal property tax exemption. To qualify a county must have a population that is greater than 20,000 but less than 500,000 and agree to participate in the pilot for 5 years.

SB 86 would have phased-in an exemption for fully depreciated property. Beginning in 2023 the exemption would start at 25 percent and increase every 4 years until the property is entirely exempt.

Last year, Scheffel ran a bill that included a 40-year phase out of the tax, but it was ultimately watered down into a study of the issue instead. This was not the first time the business personal property tax has been studied. As recently as 2004, the legislature created an interim committee to meet outside of the regular legislative session to study the impact the tax had on economic development efforts across the state.

But some Democrats are still insisting the business personal property tax needs to be studied again.

Scheffel disagreed. “We’ve studied the issue enough,” he said. “Now is the time to act.”

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