HB 17-1120 purports to allow an institution that has a license to serve alcohol beverages for on-premises consumption to apply for designation as a "campus liquor complex." This permit would allow the institution to designate multiple facilities on the campus as locations for serving alcohol beverages, apparently to absolve the institution from having to apply and pay for multiple special event permits or license separate locations. The state and local licensing authorities would be required to issue
enforcement actions only upon a specific facility and not the entire
complex or institution, should any violation of the liquor code occur. The "campus liquor complex" would be subject to numerous requirements, including:
CML will oppose any legislation that would do damage to the ability of DDAs to function properly. Based on reports of two counties with undetermined issues with their local DDA, Colorado Counties Inc. (CCI) intends to run statewide legislation impacting all DDAs. CCI apparently intends to essentially apply the same type of changes to the DDA statutes that HB 15-1348 made to the urban renewal statutes:
While it appears there has been some attempt by CCI to recognize the distinct differences between urban renewal and downtown development, there are still many fundamental misunderstandings driving the decision to move forward with this troublesome legislation. Furthermore, CML has learned that not all counties are thrilled with the decision to try to impair DDAs, as the commissioners there have no concerns with their local DDA. Most include commissioners in the authority already.
SB 17-040 was introduced after a working group established by the Colorado secretary of state met over the 2016 interim to consider changes to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) following the defeat of last year’s proposal, SB 16-037.
SB 17-040 modifies CORA by creating new procedures for structured or searchable data. The bill would require a government custodian to provide an accurate copy of the structured data (or, if not feasible, in a searchable format) when requested. If the custodian cannot produce the record in the requested format, the custodian must produce in an alternate format and provide a written declaration attesting to the reasons. If a court subsequently rules the custodian should have provided the data in the requested format, attorney fees may only be awarded if the custodian's actions were arbitrary or capricious. If a custodian performs programming, coding, or search queries, the fee may be based on the cost recovery.
SB 17-040 does not address all CORA issues from the custodian side, including the underlying litigation or cost burdens. The bill does provide a framework on how requestors and custodians may classify records as either written/print records, digital records (photographs, scanned images), machine readable records (Word documents, emails, searchable PDFs), and structured data (Excel files, Access databases, CSV files).
There is still work to be done, and the CML Policy Committee will have another chance to review the language at its February meeting.
HB17-1063 would increase the exemption for business personal property tax (BPPT) from the current amount of $7,300 to $50,000 starting in the 2017 property tax year. Starting in 2019, that threshold would be adjusted biennially for inflation. Property owners with less than those amounts of personal property do not need to file a personal property schedule. Further, for state-assessed utilities, all personal property statewide would be included in the valuation process.
Currently, the state offsets the impact from the BPPT exemption by way of an income tax credit for property taxes paid when the taxpayer’s property is less than $15,000. The final income tax year of the credit ends January 1, 2020. Although not at issue in this proposed draft, that context informs the overall fiscal impact. This proposal will increase the already existing the out-year impact on local governments’ property tax collections.
This bill will be on the action item list at the February 10, 2017 Policy Committee meeting, with a staff recommendation to oppose due to the fiscal impact and also because local governments have existing authority to partially or totally exempt BPPT under TABOR.
SB 17-078 would allow residential storage condominiums to be assessed at the residential assessment ratio rather than as nonresidential property. This is the "man cave" bill that has been introduced in previous sessions to allow certain storage units (not on residential property) to be taxed at the lower, residential assessment ratio.
This bill will be on the action item list at the Feb. 10 CML Policy Committee meeting, with a staff recommendation to oppose due to the fiscal impact.
SB 17-009 would increase the
exemption for business personal property tax (BPPT) from the current amount of $7,300
to $21,900 starting in the 2017 property tax year. Starting in 2019, that
threshold would be adjusted biennially for inflation.
Currently, the state offsets the impact from the BPPT exemption by way of an income tax credit for property taxes paid when the taxpayer’s property is less than $15,000. The final income tax year of the credit ends Jan. 1, 2020. Although not at issue in this proposed draft, that context informs the overall fiscal impact. This proposal will increase the already existing the out-year impact on local governments’ property tax collections.
This bill will be on the action item list at the Feb. 10 CML Policy Committee meeting, with a staff recommendation to oppose due to the fiscal impact and also because local governments have existing authority to partially or totally exempt BPPT under TABOR.
There is ongoing discussion between CML and the Office of the Attorney General over whether municipal law enforcement agencies are statutorily mandated to go through the sunrise process in the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST). CML asserts that municipal law enforcement agencies derive their authority from other parts of the statute and do not need to go through the sunrise review process. In light of these discussions, CML worked with the Office of the Attorney General on legislation to make it clear in statute that municipal law enforcement agencies have the authority to hire peace officers and engage in policing activates without approval by the state.
There are 69 home rule municipalities in Colorado that administer
their own local taxes, creating complexity for businesses collecting and remitting sales tax across these
jurisdictions. The self-collecting municipalities
have made coordinated efforts to simplify their local tax systems to
address these complexities. Past simplification efforts that have been
successful and for which CML offered support occurred either through a
stakeholder process convened by the participants (such as the exempt purchaser
affidavit) or by request of the General Assembly (such as the current standard
definitions project, pursuant to SJR 14-038). In contrast with these cooperative efforts, our members would have
strong concerns about the impacts that simplification proposal in the form of
statutory mandate or legislative oversight could have on home rule
Another potential simplification is a
single point of remittance and sales tax licensing for self-collecting
municipalities. Currently, the City of Denver and the Colorado Department of Revenue are exploring a joint sales tax filing portal, pursuant
to a recommendation from the governor’s Colorado Blueprint effort. In a different approach, Simplify Colorado
Sales Tax has expressed an interest in working with the General Assembly to
establish a legislative task force in 2017 to examine these technologies;
however, there are no details or bill draft at this time.
In 2017, expect to see a version of a TRANs Bonds bill similar to those bills introduced in 2015 and 2016. Business and government interests in the north I-25 corridor have continued to work on proposals to finance a new group of transportation projects (and transit, depending on the version). Last year’s legislation included a dedication of 5 percent of state sales tax revenues to pay the estimated annual debt service of approximately $250 million. (A 5 percent sales tax dedication would not generate $250 million in the near term.) Without a new source of revenue to support the debt, there have been some concerns about the impact on other General Fund programs (K-12) and the Colorado Department of Transportation's maintenance and operation (resources for M&O might be used, in part, for debt service). The proponents argue that transportation infrastructure needs to be a bigger priority for Colorado’s citizens, businesses, and economy. Any new debt would have to be approved by a majority vote at a statewide ballot under TABOR.
It is also likely that there will be discussions about new tax or fees to pay for transportation and transit, or to service related debt. Recent past proposals have included gas tax, statewide sales tax dedicated to transportation, and increasing specific ownership tax. Any proposal aimed at increasing revenue for transportation and/or transit remains difficult to pass the legislature. Any new tax, either by legislative referral or citizen initiative, would have to be approved by a majority vote at a statewide ballot under TABOR.