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Governor Polis signs bill to simplify Colorado’s tax code

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Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill Thursday that makes several changes to Colorado’s tax code.

The bill, Senate Bill 22-032, prohibits local jurisdictions from charging fees for general business licenses to retailers who already hold a standard license and requires the Department of Revenue to consult with business owners to address any “reasonable concerns” they may have about taxes, according to the bill’s text.

SB22-032 was sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of Sens. Jeff Bridges, D-Greenwood Village, and Rob Woodward, R-Loveland, and Reps. Cathy Kipp, D-Fort Collins and Kevin Van Winkle, R-Highlands Ranch.

“This is just common sense to reduce the burden on small businesses, preventing local jurisdictions from charging fees which licenses the businesses that don’t have a physical presence in their jurisdiction,” Polis said during the bill signing event. “This bill will help people save money. It’s really a win for our state, win for our small businesses, win for consumers.”

A coalition of small business owners and trade organizations applauded Polis for signing the bill. Paul Archer, chairman of the group Simplify Colorado Sales Tax which championed the effort, said the legislation would create a “simple, fair and predictable system” without reducing overall state revenue.

The coalition said Colorado has a patchwork of more than 750 areas with differing tax rates and 275 separate tax jurisdictions. This can be a heavy burden on small business owners, according to Archer.

This system is just one reason why Colorado ranked 39th among the 50 states in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index in 2017.

“We’ve come a long way and SB22-032 is an important step in that journey,” Archer said.