January 1, 1996

Extend credits to companies with base jobs

State legislators should support a proposal to extend enterprise zone style tax credits to companies that create primary jobs in nonenterprise zones.

Northern Colorado business leaders are supporting such an extension of tax-credit powers to eliminate instate fighting over major economic-development prizes.

Instate wrangling didn’t help Colorado’s chances of landing Hyundai’s $1.3 billion computer-chip plant last summer. Colorado Springs, which has an enterprise zone, boasted significant bargaining power over Fort Collins, which did not. Weld County, which entered the competition late, enjoys an enterprise zone that extends to all its borders.

Business leaders in Fort Collins argue, rightly so, that such disparities aren’t fair when they pit city against city. Why should Colorado Springs be able to outbid Fort Collins simply because of a state designation? The issue is especially grating when one considers that about 70 percent of the state’s land mass claims enterprise-zone designation.

Enterprise zones allow cities and counties to offer tax breaks to companies as an incentive to attract them. They’re supposed to revive economically distressed parts of the state by convincing new business to move within their boundaries.

Enterprise zones have proved critical elements in the emergence of Weld County as a relocation destination for many a manufacturing business. But when they spur cities within our state to engage in bidding wars for new business, it’s time to level the playing field.

State legislators should support a proposal to extend enterprise zone style tax credits to companies that create primary jobs in nonenterprise zones.

Northern Colorado business leaders are supporting such an extension of tax-credit powers to eliminate instate fighting over major economic-development prizes.

Instate wrangling didn’t help Colorado’s chances of landing Hyundai’s $1.3 billion computer-chip plant last summer. Colorado Springs, which has an enterprise zone, boasted significant bargaining power over Fort Collins, which did not. Weld County, which entered the competition late, enjoys an enterprise zone that extends to all its borders.

Business leaders in Fort Collins argue, rightly so, that such disparities aren’t…

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