Lobbying group names water-storage, increased I-25 funding as priorities

LOVELAND – The Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance will make development of a water-storage project and funding for Interstate 25 improvements a priority during the upcoming legislative session.

Representatives of the lobbying arm of Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland chambers of commerce and the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation outlined their goals at a luncheon Friday at the Ranch in Loveland.

The alliance will seek funding for expansion of the interstate, said Sandra Hagen Solin, the alliance’s lobbyist. It also will take steps to encourage development of the Northern Integrated Supply Project.

NISP, led by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, is expected to supply cities and towns with 40,000 acre-feet of water annually if approved by the federal government.

Other priorities include protecting the state’s worker’s compensation system and enterprise zone tax credits as well as reducing the business personal property tax, Solin said.

“We continue to chip away at that tax,” she told an audience of Northern Colorado business leaders.

Northern Colorado lawmakers also attended the luncheon, and some discussed bills they said would support businesses.

Rep. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, ranking member of the House Economic and Business Development Committee, is eyeing changes to the business personal property tax. A bill was passed last year that gave counties and cities the option to exempt expanding or relocating companies from paying the tax.

“This year we’re going to try to expand it a little farther to existing equipment and new equipment,” DelGrosso said.

The legislature convenes for the regular session Wednesday.

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