CML supports cooperation among local, state and federal officials to provide a strong partnership with Colorado's cities and towns. The main focus of these advocacy efforts occur with the Colorado General Assembly. CML employs a dedicated advocacy team, which is a reliable source of information about legislative issues and their impact on Colorado's cities and towns and their residents.
On Thursday, Sept. 14, Gov. John Hickenlooper issued an executive order calling the General Assembly into a special session on Oct. 2 to take legislative action “to codify that retail marijuana sales are subject to sales taxes levied by certain special districts and other limited purpose governmental entities.” Special sessions usually last three to four days, but League staff believes that this one might be over in two to three days without adopting legislation.
The overall issue stems from SB 17-267, a landmark compromise bill with the main goal of changing the 2009 hospital provider fee program into an enterprise to alleviate pressure on the state budget from the TABOR revenue limit. Exceeding it would have cost hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars in fee revenue, mostly from lost federal matches. (The same rationale was used to spirit $25 million in severance tax revenue into the state general fund two years ago to pay for TABOR refunds, a move that CML vehemently opposed but was unsuccessful in stopping.)
A July CML "Legislative Matters" blog explained in greater detail the circumstances that led to the governor’s executive order and why CML’s efforts to mitigate the state’s complex sales tax maneuvers preserved tax authority for statutory municipalities, as well as for counties. Some special districts that collect sales tax, such as RTD and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), followed the state tax exemption for retail marijuana in SB 267 and are now anticipating millions less in revenue that expected.
The CML Statehouse Report is an online publication produced during the legislative session. CML members can receive weekly emails during the session to notify them of changes to the Statehouse Report, and/or sign up to receive CML Update, which includes the Statehouse Report and other policy emails.
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CML Legislative Matters is a blog by CML Deputy Director Kevin Bommer exploring issues of municipal interest.