Capitol Gains: Taxpayer protection act clears the House

March 20, 2014
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Editor’s note: Capitol Gains is a bi-weekly feature on fiscal happenings in the Colorado legislature.

By Ali Mickelson

Movin’ on up!

The Taxpayer Protection Disclosure Act (HB 1285) passed the Colorado House on Monday after the combined efforts of CFI, Tax Help Colorado, 9to5 Colorado, Together Colorado and the Bell Policy Center, groups who’d all testified in favor of the bill last week in a House committee. Despite opposing testimony from a tax preparer claiming the disclosure was a “solution in search of a problem,” legislators were compelled by the importance of this common sense consumer protection measure and the ease of administration. The bill has now been assigned to the Finance Committee in the Senate.

Borrow from Peter to pay Paul

Just over half way through the session, legislation is still being introduced to create new tax credits. The most recent “creative” idea is a state income tax credit to reimburse businesses for local personal property tax paid (HB 1279). CFI testified against this bill, noting the inequity involved in creating such an unusual tax policy. CFI was quoted in the Denver Post as saying, “Our (tax) system is built on the idea that we have state taxes that are applied equally to all taxpayers no matter where they live and local taxes that are locally approved to provide local services. HB 1279 undermines that system. The result is that taxpayers in low property tax areas subsidize the businesses that are in higher local property tax areas.” Yet, despite our efforts, the bill passed through committee and will be heard today in House Finance.

We care about child care            

CFI’s Colorado College policy fellow, Marlana Wallace, was finally given her opportunity to testify in support of a bill creating a new child care tax credit in Colorado, after several weeks of delayed hearings. The new credit (HB 1072) will make the credit available for the lowest-income families who are currently unable to receive the credit. Fielding questions like a pro, Marlana was one of several great testifiers that encouraged the committee to ultimately pass the credit on a party-line vote. The credit now will go to the House Appropriations Committee, which will grapple with the $20 million fiscal note. 

The Lone Ranger

CFI staff is becoming a frequent presence at the Capitol, often as the lone opponent on tax and budget bills that violate our principles for an effective tax system (see blog on our principles here). Our current “lone ranger count” is at four but will be increasing next week as we testify against the expansion and weakening of a job growth incentive credit (HB 1014) and again try to defeat the terrible policy in the “income tax credit for business personal property tax” bill (HB 1279).  

 

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