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ARCHIVED  April 1, 1997

Tax recit eyed for exceptional record on environment

Colorado companies that go the extra mile in complying with environmental regulations would be rewarded under House Bill 1254, sponsored by Rep. Tony Grampsas, R-Evergreen, and Sen. Tom Norton, R-Greeley.

The bill would create a revolving fund and tax credits for pollution prevention, toxic-use reduction, source reduction, resource recovery, energy efficiency and innovative environmental technology activities for environmental leaders.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment would administer the revolving fund and tax credits. The tax credit would amount to 30 percent of the difference between the total net expenditure of those participating in the program and the net expenditures required to comply with applicable environmental regulations, statutes and permits.

The Department of Public Health and Environment would review each participant every three years. As the program ensues, each applicant would have a proposal and agreement between themselves and the Department of Public Health and Environment. Agreements would be available for public viewing.

“Companies who exceed regulated environmental compliances positively impact the quality of life for the citizens of the state,” House Bill 1254 states. The bill further declares that “A voluntary environmental leadership program can achieve increased use of pollution prevention strategies, cost-effective options for compliance with environmental laws, and reduction in occurrences of noncompliance.”

If the bill passes, $200,000 would be appropriated from the general fund to the Department of Public Health and Environment for the implementation of the act. House Bill 1254 is still in committee in the House.

New unemployment tax relief

It’s tough enough starting your own business. This year, the Colorado Legislature may give new business owners a break and cut the unemployment-insurance regulation of 2.7 percent substantially.

House Bill 1159, introduced by Rep. Tambor Williams, R-Greeley, and Sen. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, specifies that employers newly subject to unemployment-insurance tax on or after July 1, 1997, shall pay tax at the rate of 1 percent for the period of 12 consecutive calendar months.

After that, businesses would pay the unemployment-insurance tax at an experience rating rather than the standard rate.

The bill would also establish a transitional period for new businesses created on or after July 1 1994, and before July 1 1997, to help move these entities from the current rating system to the one established in House Bill 1159.

The legislation has passed the House and is in Senate committee.

Liability adjustments for inflation

House Bill 1239 calls for application of an annual inflation factor to damages for noneconomic losses (pain and suffering) retrospective of 1986.

Rep. Mark Paschall, R-Arvada, with a group of 24 representatives and senators, is presenting the bill.

A closer look at House Bill 1239 shows that it would establish a mechanism to annually adjust the damage limitation. This mechanism would be based upon the consumer price index, to include the inflation factor.

Those at risk of damage payments adjusted by the inflation factor would be licensees who sell alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person causing injury; social hosts giving alcoholic beverages to a minor causing injury; and entities causing noneconomic damages.

According to the bill, if the legislation passes, first adjustments will be made Jan. 1 1998. It will be based on the accumulated yearly adjustment of inflation for each year since the date the damages went into effect.

With that change, the General Assembly finds that “injured persons and survivors of injured or deceased persons whose damages are found to justify an award in excess of the present limitations are those who are most severely injured or damaged.”

House Bill 1239 has passed the House and is in committee in the Senate.

Minimum-wage bill proposed

Last year, Senate Bill 230, which would have forbidden municipalities from setting their own minimum wages, was vetoed by Gov. Roy Romer.

The veto allowed an initiative to be placed on Denver’s 1996 November ballot that would increase the minimum wage. The initiative was defeated.

This spring, House Bill 1100, proposed by Speaker Chuck Berry, R-Colorado Springs, and Sen. Bill Schroeder, R-Morrison, brings the issue to the forefront again. It establishes that the minimum wage is a statewide concern, confirming that no local government would be able to enact any laws for minimum wage.

Colorado companies that go the extra mile in complying with environmental regulations would be rewarded under House Bill 1254, sponsored by Rep. Tony Grampsas, R-Evergreen, and Sen. Tom Norton, R-Greeley.

The bill would create a revolving fund and tax credits for pollution prevention, toxic-use reduction, source reduction, resource recovery, energy efficiency and innovative environmental technology activities for environmental leaders.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment would administer the revolving fund and tax credits. The tax credit would amount to 30 percent of the difference between the total net expenditure of those participating in the program and the net expenditures required…

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