2018 Policy Positions
Reduce Business Personal Property Taxes
Summary: There is currently an exemption from property tax for business personal property that would otherwise be listed on a single personal property schedule that is equal to $7,400 for the current property tax year cycle. The bill raises the exemption to $50,000 commencing in tax year 2018, and continues to adjust it for inflation for subsequent property tax cycles, so that businesses with personal property under $50,000, or the inflation adjusted amount, would not have to file the business personal property tax forms nor pay the corresponding tax.
The bill also raises the value of business personal property that qualifies for an exemption for consumable property from $350, which is the value set by the property tax administrator, to $500.
Sponsor: Leonard/ T. Neville
Credit Security Freeze For Minors And At-risk Adults
Summary: Section 2 of the bill requires a consumer reporting agency that has a consumer file on an individual who is under 18 years of age to automatically place a security freeze on the individual's consumer report free of charge. Once the individual reaches 18 years of age, the consumer reporting agency shall automatically unfreeze the individual's consumer report unless the individual or the individual's guardian, at least one month before the individual turns 18 but not more than 6 months before the individual turns 18, requests that the security freeze be maintained.
Section 3 authorizes a guardian to request a security freeze for an individual who is under the charge of the guardian. If the consumer reporting agency does not yet have a consumer report for the individual at the time that a security freeze is requested, the consumer reporting agency is required to create a consumer record for the individual and place a security freeze on the consumer record.
The individual's guardian may request that the consumer reporting agency temporarily lift the security freeze placed on the individual's consumer report or record, lift the security freeze with respect to a specific third party, or permanently remove the security freeze.
A consumer reporting agency is not allowed to charge a fee for the placement, temporary lift, partial lift, or removal of a security freeze on the individual's consumer report or record.
Section 1 defines the terms 'guardian', 'legal guardian', 'protected consumer', 'sufficient proof of authority', and 'sufficient proof of identification' and amends the definition of 'security freeze' to apply to individuals under the charge of a guardian.
Section 4 adds a summary of rights that consumer reporting agencies are required to send to consumers concerning:
The automatic security freeze placed on individuals under 18 years of age for whom a consumer reporting agency has a consumer file; and
A guardian's right to request a security freeze for an individual who is under the guardian's charge and for whom a consumer reporting agency does not have a consumer file.
Sections 5 through 8 make conforming amendments.
Sponsors: Duran, Ransom
Modifications To PERA Public Employees' Retirement Association Board Of Trustees
Summary: Currently, the board of trustees (board) of the public employees' retirement association (PERA) is composed of the following 15 trustees:
The state treasurer;
The bill modifies the composition of the board by:
In addition, PERA's nonstatutory governance manual permits a trustee of the board to make reasonable requests for information from PERA when the information is necessary for the purposes of fulfilling the trustee's duties as a member of the board. The governance manual also includes limitations on the nature of requests for information that a trustee can make.
The bill authorizes a trustee, in his or her capacity as a member of the board and in furtherance of his or her fiduciary duties and obligations to the members and benefit recipients of PERA, to review all records or information within the custody and control of PERA. Upon request of a trustee, the executive director of PERA or the board is required to provide access to any records or information requested. Neither the executive director nor the board may deny a trustee's request for records or information based on the expenditure of staff time or the need to use outside resources to fill the request, or any other reason. A trustee is prohibited from using any records or information provided for personal use and PERA is required to keep certain information confidential when providing requested records or information to a trustee.
Sponsors: Everett/T. Neville
Consumer Report Security Freeze For Protected Consumers
Summary: Section 2 of the bill authorizes a parent or legal guardian to request that a consumer reporting agency place a security freeze on the consumer report of a minor or other individual who is the legal guardian's ward (protected consumer). If the consumer reporting agency does not yet have a consumer report for the protected consumer at the time that a security freeze is requested, the consumer reporting agency is required to create a consumer record for the protected consumer and place a security freeze on the consumer record.
The protected consumer's guardian may request that the consumer reporting agency temporarily lift the security freeze placed on the protected consumer's consumer report or record, lift the security freeze with respect to a specific third party, or permanently remove the security freeze. A protected consumer who demonstrates to the credit reporting agency that he or she has reached 17 years of age or that his or her guardian's appointment is no longer valid may have the security freeze removed.
A consumer reporting agency is not allowed to charge a fee for the placement, temporary lift, partial lift, or removal of a security freeze on a protected consumer's consumer report or record.
Section 1 defines the terms 'guardian', 'protected consumer', 'sufficient proof of authority', and 'sufficient proof of identification', and amends the definition of 'security freeze'.
Sections 3 through 6 make conforming amendments.
Extend Advanced Industry Export Acceleration Program
Summary: The bill extends the advanced industries export acceleration program that is currently managed by the office of economic development.
Sponsors: Tate/Wilson, Kraft-Tharp
Transportation Infrastructure Funding
Summary: In 1999, the voters of the state authorized the executive director of the department of transportation (executive director) to issue transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs) in a maximum principal amount of $1.7 billion and with a maximum repayment cost of $2.3 billion in order to provide financing to accelerate the construction of qualified federal aid transportation projects. The executive director issued the TRANs as authorized, and the TRANs have been fully repaid.
Section 8 of the bill requires the transportation commission (commission) to submit a ballot question to the voters of the state at the November 2018 statewide election, which, if approved:
Would authorize the executive director to issue additional TRANs in a maximum principal amount of $3.5 billion and with a maximum repayment cost of $5 billion; and
Would, in conjunction with sections 3, 4, and 7, repeal current law, enacted by Senate Bill 17-267, that requires the state treasurer to execute lease-purchase agreements of up to $1.88 billion for the purpose of funding high-priority qualified federal aid transportation projects.
The additional TRANs must have a maximum repayment term of 20 years, and the certificate, trust indenture, or other instrument authorizing their issuance must provide that the state may pay them in full before the end of the specified payment term without penalty. Additional TRANs must otherwise generally be issued subject to the same requirements and for the same purposes as the original TRANs; except that the commission must pledge to annually allocate from legally available money under its control any money needed for payment of the notes until the notes are fully repaid. Section 9 requires TRANs proceeds not otherwise pledged for TRANs payments to be credited to the state highway fund.
On and after July 1, 2018, section 5 requires 10% of state sales and use tax net revenue to be credited to the state highway fund and used first to make TRANs payments. Section 6 specifies that state sales and use tax net revenue credited to the state highway fund that is not expended to make TRANs payments and TRANs net proceeds credited to the state highway fund must be used only for qualified federal aid transportation projects that are included in the strategic transportation project investment program of the department of transportation (CDOT) and designated for tier 1 funding as 10-year development program projects on CDOT's development program project list. At least 25% of the TRANs net proceeds must be used for projects in counties with populations of 50,000 or less and at least 10% of the TRANs net proceeds must be used for transit purposes or transit-related capital improvements. Section 7 requires CDOT to include specified information about the state sales and use tax net revenue and TRANs net proceeds in its annual report to the senate transportation committee and the house transportation and energy committee.
Sponsors: Buck/Baumgardner, Cooke
Affordable Housing Tax Credit
Summary: The bill changes the name of the existing low-income housing tax credit to the affordable housing tax credit. This change is reflected in sections 1 and 3 of the bill.
Section 2 extends the period during which the Colorado housing and finance authority may allocate affordable housing tax credits from December 31, 2019, to December 31, 2024.
Sponsors: Duran, Becker/Guzman, Tate
Taxation Of Retail Marijuana Sales
Summary: Before the enactment of Senate Bill 17-267, the state levied 2 sales taxes on retail marijuana sales: The 2.9% general state sales tax levied pursuant to article 26 of title 39, C.R.S., and the retail marijuana sales tax, a 10% special sales tax levied on retail marijuana sales only pursuant to article 28.8 of title 39, C.R.S. Senate Bill 17-267 increased the total rate of state sales tax levied on retail marijuana sales, as authorized by prior voter approval, by exempting retail marijuana sales from the 2.9% general state sales tax and increasing the rate of the retail marijuana sales tax from 10% to 15%, effective July 1, 2017.
Because enabling statutes specify that the regional transportation district (RTD), the scientific and cultural facilities district (SCFD), and health services districts (HSD) may levy sales tax only on transactions upon which the state levies sales tax 'pursuant to the provisions of article 26 of title 29, C.R.S.,' the exemption of retail marijuana sales from the general state sales tax had the unintended consequence of exempting such sales from RTD, SCFD, and HSD sales taxes even though the state continues to levy the retail marijuana sales tax pursuant to article 28.8 of title 39, C.R.S. In addition, other statutes that empower certain special districts and authorities to levy sales taxes only upon transactions upon which the state levies sales tax, but do not specifically reference article 26, are sufficiently ambiguous that they could be interpreted to no longer authorize those special districts to levy sales tax on retail marijuana sales.
The bill clarifies that:
DOR Department Of Revenue Issue Sales Tax Request For Information
Summary: The bill requires the department of revenue to issue a request for information for an electronic sales and use tax simplification system that the state or any local government that levies a sales or use tax, including a home rule municipality and county, could choose to use that would provide administrative simplification to the state and local sales and use tax system.
Sponsor: Sias, Kraft-Tharp/Jahn , T. Neville
Reduce The State Income Tax Rate
Summary: For income tax years commencing on and after January 1, 2018, the bill reduces both the individual and the corporate state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.43%. The bill also reduces the state alternative minimum tax by 0.2% for income tax years commencing on and after January 1, 2018.
Require 100% Renewable Energy By 2035
Summary: The bill updates the renewable energy standard to require that all electric utilities, including cooperative electric associations and municipally owned utilities, derive their energy from 100% renewable sources by 2035. The bill also:
Removes recycled energy from the types of energy sources eligible for meeting the renewable energy standard;
Allows a utility to obtain energy efficiency credits equal in value to renewable energy credits based on any energy efficiency upgrades made for a low-income residential customer;
Removes multipliers used for counting certain renewable energy generated; and
Phases out the system of tradable renewable energy credits so that renewable energy generated after 2035 is not eligible for renewable energy credits.
Enforcement Statewide Degree Transfer Agreements
Summary: If an institution of higher education admits as a junior a transfer student who holds an associate of arts degree, associate of applied science degree, or an associate of science degree that is the subject of a statewide degree transfer agreement, and the institution requires the student to complete additional lower-division general education courses in order to complete the baccalaureate degree, the institution is responsible for the total cost of tuition for any required credit hours above 120 credit hours.
Sponsors: Garnett, Becker/Zenzinger, Holbert
Small Business Regulatory Reform
Summary: The bill enacts the 'Regulatory Reform Act of 2018'. Section 2 of the bill makes legislative declarations about the importance of businesses with 100 or fewer employees to the Colorado economy and the difficulty these types of businesses have in complying with new administrative rules that are not known or understood by these businesses.
Section 3 defines 'new rule' as any regulatory requirement in existence for less than one year prior to its enforcement by a state agency, and 'minor violation' as any violation of a new rule by a business with 100 or fewer employees where the violation is minor in nature, involving record-keeping or other issues that do not affect the safety of the public. Section 3 provides exceptions from the definition of 'minor violation' for certain types of rules.
For the first minor violation of a new rule by a business of 100 or fewer employees, section 4 requires a state agency to issue a written warning and engage the business in educational outreach as to the methods of complying with the new rule. Section 3 requires state agencies to make information on new rules available and allows this information to be made available in electronic form.
Sponsors: P. Neville/T. Neville, Marble
Highway Building & Maintenance Funding
Summary: Section 9 of the bill requires the transportation commission (commission) to submit a ballot question to the voters of the state at the November 2018 statewide election which, if approved:
Will require the executive director of the department of transportation (CDOT) to issue transportation revenue anticipation notes (TRANs) in a maximum principal amount of $3.5 billion and with a maximum repayment cost of $5 billion; and
Will, in conjunction with sections 3, 4, and 7, repeal current law, enacted by Senate Bill 17-267, that requires the state treasurer to execute lease-purchase agreements of up to $1.88 billion for the purpose of funding high-priority qualified federal aid transportation projects.
The executive director must issue at least one-third of the TRANs within one year of the date of the official declaration of the vote on the ballot issue by the governor, issue at least two-thirds of the TRANs within 2 years of that date, and issue all of the TRANs within 3 years of that date. The additional TRANs must have a maximum repayment term of 20 years, and the certificate, trust indenture, or other instrument authorizing their issuance must provide that the state may pay them in full before the end of the specified payment term without penalty. TRANs must otherwise generally be issued subject to the same requirements as the TRANs issued in 1999; except that the commission must pledge to annually allocate from legally available money under its control any money needed for payment of TRANs until the TRANs are fully repaid.
Section 10 requires TRANs net proceeds not otherwise pledged for TRANs payments to be credited to the state highway fund and expended by CDOT only for qualified federal aid highway projects as described in section 6. CDOT may expend no more than 10% of the net proceeds for the administration and engineering of the projects being funded with the net proceeds.
On and after July 1, 2018, section 5 requires 7.5% of state sales and use tax net revenue to be credited to the state highway fund and used first to make TRANs payments. Section 6 requires state sales and use tax net revenue credited to the state highway fund that is not expended to make TRANs payments to be expended only for maintenance of qualified federal aid highways and requires TRANs net proceeds credited to the state highway fund to be expended only for qualified federal aid highway projects included in the strategic transportation project investment program of CDOT and designated for tier 1 funding as 10-year development program projects on CDOT's development program project list.
If the voters of the state approve the issuance of TRANs, CDOT is required to ensure that construction of one-third of the projects commences within one year of the date of the official declaration of the vote on the ballot issue by the governor, to ensure that construction of two-thirds of the projects commences within 2 years of that date, and ensure that construction of all of the projects commences within 3 years of that date. Section 7 requires CDOT to include specified information about the state sales and use tax net revenue and TRANs net proceeds in its annual report to the senate transportation committee and the house transportation and energy committee.
Sponsors: Leonard/T. Neville
Protections For Consumer Data Privacy
Summary: Except for conduct in compliance with applicable federal, state, or local law, the bill requires public and private entities in Colorado that maintain paper or electronic documents (documents) that contain personal identifying information (personal information) to develop and maintain a written policy for the destruction and proper disposal of those documents. Entities that maintain, own, or license personal information, including those that use a nonaffiliated third party as a service provider, shall implement and maintain reasonable security procedures for the personal information. The notification laws governing disclosure of unauthorized acquisitions of unencrypted and encrypted computerized data are expanded to specify who must be notified following such unauthorized acquisition and what must be included in such notification.
Sponsors: Court, Lambert/Bridges, Wist
FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program
Summary: The bill creates the family and medical leave insurance (FAMLI) program in the division of family and medical leave insurance (division) in the department of labor and employment to provide partial wage-replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work to care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition or who is unable to work due to the individual's own serious health condition.
Each employee in the state will pay a premium determined by the director of the division by rule, which premium is based on a percentage of the employee's yearly wages and must not initially exceed .99%. The premiums are deposited into the family and medical leave insurance fund from which family and medical leave benefits are paid to eligible individuals. The director may also impose a solvency surcharge by rule if determined necessary to ensure the soundness of the fund. The division is established as an enterprise, and premiums paid into the fund are not considered state revenues for purposes of the taxpayer's bill of rights (TABOR).
Sponsors: F. Winter, M. Gray/K. Donovan, R. Fields
Affordable Housing Plastic Shopping Bag Tax
Summary: Contingent on prior voter approval, if a store that meets certain criteria provides any plastic shopping bags to a customer, then the store is required to collect a tax of 25 cents from the customer. The tax is the same regardless of the number of bags provided as part of a transaction, but does not apply if the customer is enrolled in the federal supplemental nutrition assistance program. The store is required to remit the tax revenue to the department of revenue (department) after keeping 1% of the taxes to cover the store's collection and remittance expenses. The department may require a store to make returns and payments electronically.
To comply with the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR), a ballot issue about the plastic shopping bag tax is referred to the voters at the November 2018 election. If the voters reject the tax, then the entire article containing the tax is repealed. If the voters approve the tax, then the tax will be imposed beginning January 1, 2019.
The tax revenue is deposited in the general fund via the old age pension fund. Then, an amount equal to the department's administrative expenses is transferred to the newly created plastic shopping bag tax administration cash fund and the remainder of the tax revenue is deposited in the housing development grant fund. The division of housing in the department of local affairs is required to use the money in the housing development grant fund for the existing purposes of the fund, which is to improve, preserve, or expand the supply of affordable housing in Colorado.
Oil Gas Higher Financial Assurance Reclamation Requirements
Summary: Section 2 of the bill prohibits the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission from accepting any of the available types of financial assurance unless the operator demonstrates, by clear and convincing evidence, that the financial assurance will be sufficient to finance all reasonably foreseeable expenses related to ensuring compliance with the oil and gas law if the operator fails to meet its compliance obligations. The commission shall calculate the total financial assurance required by multiplying the number of oil and gas facilities subject to the application by the projected cost to finance every reasonably foreseeable eventuality related to ensuring compliance with regard to each type of facility.
Section 4 adds reclamation requirements that are adapted from the reclamation requirements applicable to hard rock mines.
Right to Rest Act
Summary: The bill creates the 'Colorado Right to Rest Act', which establishes basic rights for persons experiencing homelessness, including, but not limited to, the right to use and move freely in public spaces, to rest in public spaces, to eat or accept food in any public space where food is not prohibited, to occupy a legally parked vehicle, and to have a reasonable expectation of privacy of one's property. The bill does not create an obligation for a provider of services for persons experiencing homelessness to provide shelter or services when none are available.
Sponsors: Melton, Salazar
Regulate Oil Gas Operations Protect Public Safety
Current law declares that it is in the public interest to '[f]oster the responsible, balanced development, production, and utilization of the natural resources of oil and gas in the state of Colorado in a manner consistent with protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources'. The Colorado court of appeals, in Martinez v. Colo. Oil & Gas Conservation Comm'n , 2017 COA 37, has construed this language to mean that oil and gas development is not balanced with the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, including protection of the environment and wildlife resources. Rather, that development must occur in a manner consistent with such protection.
The bill codifies the result reached in Martinez .
Recording Fee To Fund Attainable Housing
Summary: Currently, each county clerk and recorder collects a surcharge of one dollar for each document received for recording or filing in his or her office. The surcharge is in addition to any other fees permitted by statute. Section 2 of the bill allows counties to impose an increased surcharge in the amount of $5 for documents received for recording or filing on or after January 1, 2019.
In a county that has elected to collect the increased surcharge of $5, out of each $5 collected, the bill requires the clerk to retain one dollar to be used to defray the costs of an electronic or core filing system in accordance with existing law. The bill requires the clerk to transmit the other $4 collected to the state treasurer, who is to credit the same to the statewide attainable housing investment fund (fund).
Section 3 creates the fund in the Colorado housing and finance authority (authority). The bill specifies the source of money to be deposited into the fund and that the authority is to administer the fund. The bill directs that, of the money transmitted to the fund by the state treasurer, on an annual basis, not less than 25% of such amount must be expended for the purpose of supporting new or existing programs that provide financial assistance to persons in households with an income of up to 80% of the area median income for the purpose of allowing such persons to finance, purchase, or rehabilitate single family residential homes as well as to provide financial assistance to any nonprofit entity and political subdivision that makes loans to persons in such households to enable such persons to finance, purchase, or rehabilitate single family residential homes.
Section 3 also requires the authority to submit a report, no later than June 1 of each year, specifying the use of the fund during the prior calendar year to the governor and to the senate and house finance committees.
Protect Act Local Government Authority Oil & Gas Facilities
Summary: Section 1 of the bill specifies that the short title of the act is the 'Protect Act'.
Current law specifies that local governments have powers, commonly called 'House Bill 1041' powers, which are a type of land use authority, over oil and gas mineral extraction areas only if the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission has designated a specific area as an area of state interest; sections 3 and 4 repeal that limitation.
Section 5 includes specific authority to regulate the siting of oil and gas facilities in counties' existing land use authority. Section 6 makes the same changes with regard to municipalities' existing land use authority.
Sections 7 and 8 specify that the Colorado oil and gas conservation commission's authority to regulate oil and gas operations, including the siting of oil and gas facilities, does not exempt an oil and gas facility from a local government's siting authority and that an oil and gas operator must ensure that the location of an oil and gas facility complies with city, town, county, or city and county siting regulations.
Sections 5, 6, and 8 specify that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the governing body of a municipality and a board of county commissioners may, in order to protect the public safety, health, and welfare of the citizens of the local government, plan, zone, and refuse to allow oil and gas operations.