Monday, April 11, 2011

Software tax cut has bipartisan support

A measure just introduced in the House to eliminate a tax on software—Republican House Majority Leader Amy Stephens, of Monument, is calling it “the biggest bill this year for bringing back jobs and businesses to Colorado”—already is anticipated to pass both legislative chambers without a hitch.

The proposal, House Bill 1293, would repeal a measure passed last year that created a new tax on software used by businesses. The software tax was part of a package of mostly Democratic-led bills that were dubbed “the dirty dozen” by Republicans because of the way they eliminated tax credits and exemptions previously granted to businesses.

The unusual ease with which the bill will move through both is chambers is due to a deal struck between both parties during intensive negotiations over next year’s budget. The measure has bipartisan sponsorship, with Stephens, Rep. Carole Murray, R-Castle Rock, and Sens. Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge and Linda Newell, D-Englewood.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader John Morse, of Colorado Springs, says HB 1293 is not ideal but a necessary evil.

“I hate having to do this but it’s part of the deal,” said Morse. “This is another $24 million or so that will come out of schools next year.”

Opponents of the tax say it has added administrative costs for employers across the state and ultimately has assessed an extra cost for companies that employ people in Colorado, according to a news release sent out by House Republicans.

Stephens says the tax has had a chilling effect on business endeavors.

“Colorado proudly touts its leadership in entrepreneurship and innovation, but it is quickly becoming known as a leader in the wrong space—taxation,” said Stephens. “Colorado should be leading in innovation and solutions to encourage new business, not aggressive and confusing tax laws that shutter the doors for new business.”

Morse counters that businesses may end up feeling the pinch.

“Businesses will end up suffering because of an uneducated workforce,” Morse said. “During times of economic crisis, we simply don’t have the luxury of funding credits and exemptions.”

Via - Colorado News Agency

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