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ARCHIVED  May 1, 1996

Tax breaks would mirror enterprise zones

The Colorado General Assembly is nearing the end of its 60th session and has kicked into overdrive to get bills signed into law before going on

summer recess.

More than 50 bills landed on Gov. Roy Romer’s desk during the first two weeks of April, and the flow doesn’t seem to slowing.

Cutting businesses a break

House Republican Larry Schwarz is trying to drive a few tax exemptions through the Legislature before the session ends.

House Bill 1109 proposes exempting from taxation the first $10,000 worth of business personal property. Such an exemption would eliminate the tax

for some businesses and would also make Colorado more attractive to businesses, Schwarz said.

The Wetmore representative expects corporations and property owners to pour the money they save back into the economy with increased purchasing,

where collected sales tax would make up for the loss in property-tax revenue.

“It’s wrong to tax what creates wealth,” Schwarz said. The current property tax “is a tax on wealth creation when we should instead be taxing the

wealth created.”

He takes this philosophy even further with his House Bill 1333, which would totally remove the sales and use tax from machines and tools used to

create a final product. Such equipment is already exempt in enterprise zones, but the proposed legislation, which has already been passed by the

House, would broaden the exemption to equipment not directly tied to the production process.

Education on sale

In an attempt to head off the skyrocketing costs of higher education, the governor signed Senate Bill 172. Proposed by Sen. Ben Alexander,

R-Montrose, the law initiates research into a prepay college tuition program allowing the payee (usually the parents) to contract with a Colorado

university for the cost of future education.

The contract enables the investor to pay for a child’s tuition in advance in one lump sum or monthly payments. The single payment for a newborn is

expected to be about $7,500, and monthly payments will be about $61, Alexander said.

If today’s toddler decides higher learning is a low priority or enrolls in a different college than that selected by the parents (or whoever signs the

check), the money would either be returned to the payer or be transferred to the school of choice, which does not have to be in Colorado. Prepayment

would have no impact on the enrollment/acceptance process, so the portability may be a necessity more than a convenience.

Alexander points out that although the fund can be returned to the investor with the interest it has earned, that interest will most likely be lower than the

return from other possible investments.

The Colorado Student Obligation Bond Authority will investigate the plan’s feasibility and report back to the House and Senate this December.

The car collection

From driving 75 mph to renting cars to the blind, the governor signed a variety of car-related bills into law last month.

House Bill 1069 wove its way through House and Senate traffic and was signed April 25. Sponsored by Rep. Ron May, R-Colorado Springs, and

Sen. Ray Powers, R-Denver, the bill will up speed limits on select rural highways from 65 mph to 75 mph.

Senate Bill 111 clarifies the role of buyer agents in the three-ring car purchasing circus. Sponsored by Golden Republican Sally Hopper, SB-111

clarifies that buyer agents, acting on behalf of a individual, can negotiate trade-ins as part of the bargaining process.

For a predetermined fee, buyer agents shop around for the best deals on the cars specified by their clients, but the agents are not permitted to handle

the actual purchase of the cars or the title transfers.

House Bill 1220 seems a bit more bizarre, but actually addresses a practical need of those with poor or no vision. Simply stated, the bill enables blind

people to rent cars.

In the past, a drivers license was required to rent a car, but HB-1220 enables blind individuals to assume the financial responsibility of a rental car –

which would then be driven by another person, of course.

The Colorado General Assembly is nearing the end of its 60th session and has kicked into overdrive to get bills signed into law before going on

summer recess.

More than 50 bills landed on Gov. Roy Romer’s desk during the first two weeks of April, and the flow doesn’t seem to slowing.

Cutting businesses a break

House Republican Larry Schwarz is trying to drive a few tax exemptions through the Legislature before the session ends.

House Bill 1109 proposes exempting from taxation the first $10,000 worth of business personal property. Such an exemption would eliminate the tax

for some businesses and would…

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