In this Capitol Report:
What We’re Watching: Senate Bill 233
This week, Governor Polis held a press conference to announce a one-time tax refund under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights will be expedited this year, which will be paid at a flat rate to taxpayers. Under the proposal, Colorado taxpayers will receive a refund of $400, or $800 for joint filers. All taxpayers who file their 2021 state returns by May 31st of this year will receive their rebate by September.
The bill was filed yesterday evening as Senate Bill 233. The Colorado Chamber has provided a list of suggested changes to the Governor’s office and the Department of Revenue to consider for improving the legislation based on concerns for those taxpayers who have filed extensions. The suggestions included:
- Extending the May 31st deadline to a later date;
- Allowing a taxpayer who filed an extension and files their tax return by October 18th to receive their tax refund by Spring 2023;
- Including a hold harmless provision for accountants/ tax filers to avoid being sued by a taxpayer for not filing a taxpayer’s return by May 31st (or the later date);
- Requiring the CO Department of Revenue to publish a “TABOR refund claim form“ or “Intent to File form” on their website so that taxpayers can download the form and submit it to the DOR by May 31st (or the later date) proving that they previously filed an extension and should be eligible for the tax refund.
For more details on the proposal, see this article from Colorado Politics.
Government Affairs Council Holds Final Meeting of 2022 Session
With two weeks left in this legislative session and 399 bills still on the legislative pipeline, things are starting to move fast in the capitol. The Colorado Chamber’s Government Affairs Council held its last in-person meeting earlier this week to review the final bills moving through the legislative process.
New Bill Positions:
This bill allows for the expansion of county employees’ rights to collective bargaining and allows for the joining of unions. The bill has been a year in the making and originally started out including all public-sector employees to engage in collective bargaining with their employers but has since been stripped down to just county workers.
The Chamber is mostly concerned that this bill could set a precedent for more expansive legislation in the future, possibility to spill over into to the Labor Peace Act. The Council voted to oppose the bill.
The Council originally held an opposed position to this legislation due to concerns from contractor groups and electrician companies about the ratio language in the bill and reducing the number of apprentices that licensed electricians or plumbers can supervise at one time. The Chamber worked with the proponents of the bill and the concerning language of the bill was removed. With the revised language of the bill, the Chamber has moved from an opposed position to a neutral position.
Other Legislative Updates:
SB 233 TABOR Refund Proposal:
Earlier this week the governor and legislative leadership announced that taxpayers will now get a $400 tax refund through TABOR, but you must file state taxes by May 31st of this year. The Colorado Chamber has provided a list of suggested changes to the Governor’s Office and the Department of Revenue to consider for improving the legislation based on concerns for those taxpayers who have filed extensions.
This bill was just recently introduced and prohibits employers from asking about juvenile records or running a background check for juvenile offenses. The original bill was very prohibitive to employers regarding having a conversation with possible employees about their juvenile records. The Chamber was able to work with proponents to amend the bill to allow for a provision regarding public access to juvenile records, which allows employers to still access the records but prohibits them from raising the issue in an interview.
National Small Business Week is Coming Up!
May 1st through May 7th, 2022
For over 50 years, National Small Business Week (NSBW) has celebrated the small businesses that are the backbone of our nation and our local communities, and highlights the integral part they play in shaping the economy. NSBW takes place annually during the first week of May.
To celebrate NSBW, the Colorado Chamber will be spotlighting Colorado small businesses and recognizing the contributions of small business owners, entrepreneurs, and their employees to our local communities. Stay tuned for some incredible features of Chamber members for Small Business Week!
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are approximately 675,000 small businesses in Colorado, making up 99.5% of businesses in the state and showing just how essential they are to the overall business community. Small businesses are represented across the state in every sector. Spanning from tech companies to food services, the small business community continues to grow and thrive in Colorado, employing 1.2 million employees statewide.