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A look ahead at the small-business agenda
More issues are certain to surface before the 70th Colorado General Assembly convenes for business on January 7, 2015, but three in particular already pose challenges for small business.
Eliminate the Business Personal Property Tax
NFIB helped win a reduction in the BPPT from the last session of the Legislature, but elimination of this time-consuming, paperwork-demanding tax has been a long-held goal. Local governments can spend more in manpower enforcing this annoying tax than they get in revenues from it. If Colorado is have a truly modern, competitive state economy, the BPPT must go.
Fight for Greater Regulatory Reform
Small businesses face an annual regulatory cost of $10,585 per employee, which is 36 percent higher than the regulatory cost facing large firms. Colorado goes a step further in making itself inhospitable to small business by slapping fines and penalties on first-time minor offenses. NFIB will continue its fight to require state agencies to issue letters of reprimand, instead of fines and penalties, with instructions on how to avoid the same violation when the offense does not harm the public health or safety.
Build a Broader Coalition to Counter Influence of Big Business
Small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses. They have at least five major distinctions. One of the unpublicized differences is lobbying on legislation. The forces of big are too often happy to cut deals with proponents of tort reforms that make suing employers easier or of additional mandates that threaten the solvency of Main Street enterprises. These types of concessions often leave NFIB alone in the battle to have harmful legislation killed. A priority of 2015 will be to unite smaller industry-specific groups into an effective, cohesive force to counter the financially stronger big business groups.