Letters to the Editor, July 24, 2015

Medical-device tax a barrier to life-saving research, development

Re “Editorial: Repeal medical-device tax, lost revenue or not,” July 14:

As an employee in the medical-technology sector in Colorado, I commend your support of repealing the medical device tax. The tax is having, and will continue to have, a profound and negative effect on one of America’s most dynamic industries. In addition, this tax is threatening Colorado’s ability to attract and keep well-paying jobs in our state.

Our nation’s health care is dependent on manufacturers’ ability to improve upon and bring new life-saving innovations to market, but the device tax stands as a barrier to such innovation, often forcing firms to cut critical research and development budgets.

There’s a reason strong bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate support repealing the tax: It is bad policy. Both of our senators have been on record in favor of repeal. I encourage Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner to pursue passage of the repeal this year before any more harm is done.

Michael Deines

General manager, Dharmacon Products

GE Healthcare Life Sciences

Lafayette

Location of new asphalt plant key to Northern Colorado growth

Asphalt, concrete and aggregates are as essential as water and land to building our future.

We are at a unique moment. Northern Colorado is poised to grow significantly. Weld and Larimer counties together will add almost 350,000 people by 2035; in that time, Weld County will almost double. 

Growth brings restaurants, shops, jobs, a bigger tax base and an increase in home values. Moreover, it has demands: for natural resources, building materials, a means to transport these materials and labor. The aggregate shortage affecting Northern Colorado now and in the near future will impact the region’s future if an alternative is not available.

As the largest asphalt supplier to Weld County, Greeley and Fort Collins, we have looked carefully at where to locate our $20 million building materials facility to support Northern Colorado’s growing economy.

Of the 13 locations evaluated, only the U.S. Highway 34 site offered critical access to rail to transport aggregate and access to major highways to truck asphalt, concrete and aggregates to customers throughout Northern Colorado.

This plant would provide 100 well-paid jobs. Over the next 10 years, the plant will add $36 million in tax revenue to the $42 million Martin Marietta contributed last year in payroll, taxes and spending with local suppliers. Indirect spending from our Northern Colorado operations will support 4,300 people, and the facility will allow us to continue supporting the building needs of our customers: city and county governments, the Colorado Department of Transportation, general contractors and home builders.

The Greeley area – Weld County – is ranked first in the nation for year-over-year economic growth, according to Area Development magazine. “Food processing, construction, and retail are on the rise.” That does not continue without affordable building products. Highway 34 is critical to continued economic growth in northern Colorado.

David Hagerman

Regional vice president and

general manager, aggregates

Rocky Mountain Division

Martin Marietta