Business Personal Property Tax bill sent to Appropriations

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A bill that would dismantle the state’s 133-year-old business personal property tax passed the Senate this morning and was promptly assigned to the Senate Appropriations Committee – a move that many supporters believe to be a death knell for the bill.

Senate Bill 85, sponsored by Parker Republican Sen. Mark Scheffel would phase out the tax over 40 years, beginning in 2011.

The phaseout is estimated to reduce state revenue by $2.2 million in its first year and $350 million a year when the phaseout would be complete.

Democrats who opposed the bill said that unless some substitute revenue was found, phasing out the business personal property tax would hurt local governments, especially school districts, which get a slice of that pie.

Business proponents, however, claim such taxes harm the state’s ability to attract businesses to relocate here.

When the Senate Appropriations Committee might consider the bill is uncertain.