UPDATE: Despite efforts by Colorado Republicans to reach across the aisle to pass this important piece of legislation, Democratic Senate leadership has sent this bill to the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee (aka the Democrats’ “kill committee”) to die a quiet death. So much for Democrats prioritizing economic growth.
One of the impediments to new businesses relocating to Colorado has been the business personal property tax, which taxes nearly every piece of equipment used by a business and requires payment even in unprofitable times. Republican Sen. Mark Scheffel has introduced a break from these burdensome taxes for the past few years, but each year the bill has died in Democratic-controlled committees. Last year, Scheffel, along with fellow Republican Sen. Chris Holbert, won a partial victory last year and is back for another bite at the apple with SB136.
“There is an exemption from property tax for business personal property that would otherwise be listed on a single personal property schedule that is equal to $7,000 for the current property tax year cycle and an inflation-adjusted amount for each property tax year cycle thereafter. Beginning with the property tax year commencing on January 1, 2015, the bill increases this exemption from the property tax of all local governments, excluding school districts, to $25,000, adjusted biennially thereafter. A local government may opt out of the increased exemption, in which case the existing exemption would apply to it. The exemption from the tax levied by school districts is not changed.”
Last year, Scheffel found success by working with Douglas County officials so that local governments could opt to use the tax break as a way to lure businesses to their area. This year, Scheffel has garnered bipartisan support for his efforts, which may make the journey easier. The business personal property has long been an impediment to business growth and the bane of business owners across the state. Scheffel’s bill is just one of five aiming to rid Colorado of the antiquated tax scheme.