EDCC Bill Positions: Jan. 30, 2018

 

HB18-1084 County Lodging Tax Revenue Allowable Uses
Senator Coram, Representatives Hamner and Thurlow


Summary of Legislation
Counties are currently authorized, with prior voter approval, to levy a county lodging tax for the purpose of advertising and marketing local tourism. The bill will allow expanded uses for the lodging tax if the county seeks and is granted prior voter approval to begin using the lodging tax revenues for any other purpose.

Background
This initiative is being led by CCI as a way to generate dollars for affordable housing. If a county chooses to expand the uses of a lodging tax, they have to place the question on the ballot for approval.

EDCC Position & Action
SUPPORT

 

SB18-001 Transportation Infrastructure Funding
Senators Baumgardner and Cooke, Representatives Carver and Buck


Summary of Legislation
This bill requires a ballot question be submitted to voters in the November 2018 statewide election seeking approval for the state to issue transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs). The sale value of the TRANs must not exceed $3.5 billion, and the repayment cost must not exceed $5.0 billion. The term of the debt service is limited to 20 years. If voters approve the ballot initiative, new revenues would be reserved for the following uses:

  • Repeals a portion of SB17-267 requiring the state treasurer issue lease purchase agreements to leverage state building assets to finance transportation projects.
  • Requires 10% of sales and use tax revenue be credited to the State Highway Fund to repay TRANs and fund any additional projects.

Background
This bill uses mostly existing resources with the state budget to fund transportation projects. The bill is its current form will pass the Senate, but will receive more scrutiny in the House. It is
rumored that a larger conversation could develop into legislation to fund transportation through a combination of existing resources and new revenues. CML, CCI, and the Denver Metro Chamber are neutral, while CACI, Colorado Contractors, CO Springs Chamber, Fort Collins Chamber, Colorado Concern, and others are supportive.

EDCC Position & Action
NEUTRAL

 

SB18-002 Financing Rural Broadband Deployment
Senators Sonnenberg and Coram, Representatives Duran and K. Becker


Summary of Legislation
The bill amends the definition of ‘broadband network’ to increase the speed of downstream broadband internet service to at least 10 megabits per second, and the definition of ‘unserved area’ to refer to areas that are unincorporated, or within a city with a population of fewer than 7,500 inhabitants, and that are not receiving federal broadband support. The bill also allocates funds from the High Cost Support Mechanism Fund to be used for broadband deployment grants.

Background
This is the bipartisan bill aimed at funding broadband access to rural and underserved areas of
the state. Broadband providers and state agencies are still in conversations on tweaks to the
bill. There have been discussions about allocating more money to the broadband fund and
increasing the speed of service to 25 megabits.

EDCC Position & Action
SUPPORT

 

SB18-007 Affordable Housing Tax Credit
Senators Tate and Guzman, Representatives J. Becker and Duran


Summary of Legislation
SB18-007 extends the existing state Low Income Housing Tax Credit program (state LIHTC) through 2024, and renames the program the Colorado Affordable Housing Tax Credit.

Background
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority is the proponent of this bill. They want to extend the tax credit because of the high demand and popularity of the tax credit. From 2015-2017, the sale of both state and federal tax credits directly supporteed 4,263 and will generate over $465 million in private sector equity investment in Colorado that otherwise would not have occurred. The program has helped build units in all areas of the state – western slope, along the I-25 corridor, and in the southern area of the state. Many local governments and business groups support the bill.

EDCC Position & Action
SUPPORT

 

HB18-1135 Extend Advanced Industry Export Acceleration Program
Representatives Kraft-Tharp and Wilson, Senator Tate


Summary of Legislation
The bill extends the Advanced Industries Export Promotion Program with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade through 2024, and allocates $175,000 per year to the program.

Background
The AI Export Program was created in 2013 as a way to help businesses within the advanced industries expand their business into international markets. The program offers financial resources, training, and consulting services for these businesses to develop an international promotion program. Since the program was created, the program has led to immediate export sales of over $3 million, projected export sales of over $27 million, and creation of over 30 high paying jobs.

EDCC Position & Action
SUPPORT

2018 Legislative Session Outlook

We are pleased to present to you the 2018 Legislative Session Outlook prepared by our lobbyist firm, Bowditch & Cassell Public Affairs. The full report can be accessed at EDCConline.org/legislative-session.

As the Second Regular Session of the 71st General Assembly convenes on January 10, 2018, several high profile key issues will be discussed in 2018: transportation funding, affordable housing, PERA, and the state budget. Also, the marijuana tax policy as it relates to the unintended consequence of the Hospital Provider Fee (SB17-267) and its inability of nine special districts, including the Regional Transportation District (RTD) to collect their share of the statewide retail marijuana sales tax.

Two federal issues impacting Colorado:

  • Tax Changes: Congress has passed the most significant tax changes since 1986, and its impact will affect Colorado’s General Fund revenue. Colorado is one of seven states that links its income tax to federal taxable income. With the reduction of federal exemptions and deductions, Colorado’s General Fund revenues will increase.
  • Health Care: One upcoming key issue will be the re-authorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This currently provides health coverage for approximately 75,000 children and pregnant women in Colorado, and is not authorized at the federal level past January. Recently, the Legislative Joint Budget Committee approved a “1331” interim supplemental request to continue the program through February.

2018 LEGISLATIVE ISSUES AS IT PERTAINS TO EDCC’S LEGISLATION PLATFORM:

BALLOT MEASURES:
With the passage of the Raise the Bar ballot measure (Amendment 71) in 2016, and its geographic signature requirements, Coloradans should see shorter ballots in the future. Realistically, only issues with broad-based support throughout the state can reach the ballot – we would put education and transportation in this category.

Looking towards the 2018 election cycle, a number of measures have already been submitted:

  • Candidate Disclosure of Income Tax Returns
  • Transportation Funding
  • Limit on Local Housing Growth
  • Prohibit the Sale of Smart Phones to Minors Under 13
  • Increase Funding for K-12 Education

Read the FULL REPORT by Bowditch & Cassell Public Affairs