Business-related laws proposed

Following are summaries of business-related legislation that has been proposed as of Jan. 14 for the second regular session of the Colorado Legislature’s 69th general assembly to consider. The session convened Jan. 8 and is scheduled to adjourn May 7.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Tax Credit for Property Destroyed by Natural Cause
House Bill 14-1001
Summary: The bill would establish an income-tax credit for a taxpayer who owns real or business personal property that was destroyed by a natural cause as determined by the county assessor of the county in which the property is located. The amount of the credit is equal to the taxpayer’s property tax liability for the destroyed property in the property tax year in which the natural cause occurred. A taxpayer is allowed to claim the credit only for the income tax year during which the property was destroyed.
Sponsors: House: Singer, Buck, Young. Senate: Nicholson, Jones, Kefalas.

Tax Remittance for
Marketing Districts
House Bill 14-1006
Summary: The bill would require a person or entity that provides rooms or accommodations and is included in a district to remit the marketing and promotion tax it collects to the department of revenue on a monthly basis, thereby allowing the district to receive its revenue on a monthly basis. Current law requires remittance on a quarterly basis.
Sponsors: House: Singer, Buck, Humphrey, Saine, Young. Senate: Lundberg, Kefalas, Nicholson.

Advanced Industry Economic Development Funding
House Bill 14-1011
Summary: Under current law, the state treasurer is required to make four annual transfers from the general fund to the advanced industries export acceleration cash fund. This bill would require each of those transfers to be made six months earlier. Any unexpended moneys from an appropriation made from the fund to the office of international trade remains available for expenditure by the office in the next fiscal year without further appropriation. The bill makes explicit the office of economic development and international trade’s authority to expend gifts, grants or donations that the office currently is authorized to seek and accept.
Sponsors: House: Young and Gerou, Kraft-Tharp. Senate: Heath.

Advanced Industry Investment Income Tax Credit
House Bill 14-1012
Summary: The bill would repeal the Colorado innovation investment tax credit and replaces it with the advanced industry investment tax credit. The tax credit is available for a qualified investor who, prior to January 1, 2018, makes an equity investment in a qualified small business from the advanced industries, which consists of advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources, information technology and infrastructure engineering. The tax credit is equal to 25 percent of the investment or, if the qualified business is located in a rural area or economically distressed area, it is equal to 30 percent. The maximum amount of credit for a single tax credit is $50,000, and the maximum of all tax credits allowed for a calendar year is $2 million; except that unused tax credits from 2014 may roll over into 2015.
Sponsors: House: Tyler and Gerou. Senate: Kefalas.

Advanced Industries Workforce Development Program
House Bill 14-1013
Summary: The bill would create the advanced industries workforce development program in the Colorado office of economic development. The purpose of the program is to allow the office to reimburse a business for one-half of its expenses related to a qualifying internship or apprenticeship.
Sponsors: House: Lee and Foote. Senate: Todd.

Job-Growth Incentive
Tax Credit
House Bill 14-1014
Summary: This bill would extend the tax credit claim period from 60 months to 96 months and lower the wage match from 110 percent to 100 percent of the area’s average wage for companies that add a minimum of 20 jobs in metro areas and five jobs in rural districts.
Sponsors: House: DelGrosso and Kraft-Tharp. Senate: Heath and Scheffel.
Transitional Jobs Program
House Bill 14-1015
Summary: Current law directs the department of human services to administer a transitional jobs program through Dec. 30, 2014. The bill would extend the program through Dec. 30, 2016. The transitional jobs program provides grants to local organizations that enable low-income individuals to acquire work experience and on the job training to obtain or improve their employability.
Sponsors: House: Kraft-Tharp. Senate: Kerr.

Technical Assistance Program
House Bill 14-1016
Summary: This bill would require the Colorado office of economic development to enter into a contract with one or more qualified entities for up to six years to provide procurement technical assistance to businesses statewide. The procurement technical assistance program in Colorado is a public-private partnership with a target budget of $800,000 per year. Fifty percent is provided by the state and donations obtained by an organization that provides procurement technical assistance, and 50 percent is provided by the federal government.
Sponsors: House: Ryden and Gardner, Kagan, May, McCann, Williams. Senate: Todd and Grantham.

Tastings of Manufacturers’ Alcohol Beverages
House Bill 14-1038
Summary: Current law permits a Colorado-licensed liquors manufacturer to conduct tastings and sell on its licensed premises only liquors manufactured by the licensee. The bill permits a licensed manufacturer to conduct tastings and sell spirits manufactured by another Colorado-licensed manufacturer and to offer tastings of raw ingredients used in its manufacturing process.
Sponsors: House: Wilson. Senate: none.

SENATE

Processing Wage Claims
Senate Bill 14-005
Summary: This bill revises responsibilities of businesses when processing and filing wage claims of employees. It would require an employer to maintain records in an employee’s pay statement for at least three years after payment of the wages and to make the records available to the employee and the division of labor in the department of labor and employment. The bill authorizes a fine on an employer who fails to retain or make available the records. It also requires an employer to mail a check for wages to the employee’s last-known address within 60 days after the check was due if an employer is unable to otherwise deliver the check to the employee.
Sponsors: Senate: Ulibarri. House: Singer and Duran.

Colorado Energy
Research Authority
Senate Bill 14-011
Summary: The bill would change the name of the Colorado Renewable Research Authority to the Colorado Energy Research Authority. It also would identify the consortium that receives allocations from the authority as the Colorado Energy Research Collaboratory. It would permit the authority to undertake various promotional and educational activities, rather than requiring it to do so. The bill also would modify the information to be included in the authority’s annual report and requires the report to be delivered to the Colorado office of economic development instead of legislative committees; and substitutes “clean energy” for “renewable energy.” The bill also would create the energy research cash fund, for which the state treasurer is required to transfer $2 million at the beginning of the next five fiscal years to be use by the office of economic development’s administrative expenses and for the purpose of distributing money to the authority for use as state matching funds and for the authority’s other permitted activities.
Sponsors: Senate: Heath. House: Hullinghorst

Electric Vehicle
Charging Station Grants
Senate Bill 14-028
Summary: The bill would expand the existing list of persons and entities that are eligible to receive money from the Electric Vehicle Grant Fund administered by the Colorado Energy Office, by adding private businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Sponsors: Senate: Jones. House: Duran, Tyler.

Continuation of Enhanced Unemployment Insurance
Senate Bill 14-057
Summary: Under current law, enhanced unemployment insurance benefits for unemployed individuals participating in approved training programs are set to expire on June 30, 2014. The bill would extend the availability of enhanced benefits through June 30, 2017. The department of labor and employment would be authorized to obligate up to $4 million per year during the 2014-15 through 2016-17 fiscal years to pay enhanced unemployment compensation benefits to eligible claimants during that period.
Sponsors: Senate: Heath. House: Hullinghorst.

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