ARCHIVED  February 1, 1997

State wrong in enterprise-zone recommendations

A report recommending changes to Colorado’s enterprise-zone program should cause anyone interested in economic development in Northern Colorado to worry about this region’s future.

Recommendations from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to the Colorado Economic Development Commission and the state auditor include disturbing news for Larimer and Weld counties, which will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage compared with other parts of the state.
The report calls for excluding several potential development areas of Weld County, including the Hewlett-Packard and Tri-Point Business Park sites in Greeley, the Southwest Weld I-25 Corridor and industrial land in Windsor.The recommendation also calls for recertifying the existing Larimer County enterprise zone – for now – including adding a former industrial area in Loveland.
But state officials made a grievous error in not supporting addition of the Hewlett-Packard, Symbios and adjacent business-park sites in Fort Collins. This are properties that would qualify elsewhere in the state. What’s especially worrisome is that parts of the state with such a designation will attempt to lure these employers away, using the enterprise zone’s extensive tax savings as bait.
State officials ignored the pleas of local officials to add the properties, and they’re throwing a wrench into Weld County’s economic-development program by deleting properties.
The only saving grace? The fact that an alternative is being proposed (again) in the state Legislature. The proposed bill by Rep. Steve Tool would revive aspects of his 1996 primary-jobs tax credit bill. This bill would provide a statewide alternative to enterprise zones.
Local business and civic leaders should do more than worry about the Department of Local Affairs’ recommendations. They should lobby for the primary-jobs bill – and lobby hard.ÿ

A report recommending changes to Colorado’s enterprise-zone program should cause anyone interested in economic development in Northern Colorado to worry about this region’s future.

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Recommendations from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to the Colorado Economic Development Commission and the state auditor include disturbing news for Larimer and Weld counties, which will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage compared with other parts of the state.
The report calls for excluding several potential development areas of Weld County, including the Hewlett-Packard and Tri-Point Business Park sites in Greeley, the Southwest Weld I-25 Corridor and industrial land in Windsor.The recommendation also calls for…

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