Colorado Business Owners Seek Reforms to Business Personal Property Tax

Date: February 28, 2017

Colorado business owners are again hoping legislators will cut the state’s complicated business personal property tax—a hope that has been repeatedly dashed for years, The Denver Post reported.

The tax requires Colorado businesses every year to file a list of all business personal property acquired over the years, and to pay a tax on it that depreciates according to a state formula. The first $7,300 of business personal property is tax exempt, and business owners can qualify for an income tax deduction on property worth up to $15,000.

Business owners say the tax is complicated, frustrating, and burdensome.

A House proposal that would have raised the business personal property tax exemption to $50,000 died, but lawmakers have stressed reforming the tax is a priority.

“Business personal property taxes are taxes on items inside a business, and as a business owner I know first-hand how high taxation impedes business growth,” Rep. Tim Leonard, who introduced the failed bill, said in a statement. “This bill would have reduced taxes and relieved businesses from an onerous tax, giving owners more money to expand, increase wages and add jobs in Colorado.”

Even Gov. John Hickenlooper acknowledges that the tax needs reforming.

“Let’s see if we can figure out some way to make it less of a headache for those small businesses and yet make sure that they pay the same revenue to the state,” he told The Denver Post.

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