Regional Business News

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Boulder under-collects use taxes

City of Boulder officials say they may have under-collected between $1.9 million and $5.2 million in construction permit use taxes during the past three years, according to the Boulder County Business Report.
And although the oversight primarily was on its part – through an unreliable tax estimating system – the city expects nearly 1,000 local contractors to pay up.

Starting in August, Boulder officials sent notices to 339 contractors of projects valued more than $250,000, requesting they voluntarily reconcile the projects, determine taxes owed and pay the shortfalls by Dec. 31.

The city will send out another 335 notices in December to projects valued between $60,000 and $250,000, requesting the same actions by April 30, 2010.

A final batch of 229 notices for projects valued between $20,000 and $60,000 will go out in April 2010, with a deadline of payment by Aug. 31, 2010. The spread out approach is meant to avoid overloading city staff.

If the proper payments are made by the deadlines, the city will waive all penalties and interest on the back taxes, Boulder Finance Director Bob Eichem said.

Marostica on small business, clean technology

The Northern Colorado Business Report sat down with new state economic development director Don Marostica to talk about the challenges facing Colorado.

(Read more here)

$2.5 million to CSU for CWD study

A Colorado State University research team has been awarded a $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant to study transmission of chronic wasting disease, or CWD.

CWD affects members of the deer family and is similar to diseases like scrapie in sheep and mad cow disease in cattle. CWD was first discovered in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming by CSU scientists in the 1960s.

In the NSF-funded project, CSU scientists will conduct field studies on wild mule deer populations in Northern Colorado and focus on the mechanism of transmission. They will also look at how many deer can be infected by a single infected deer. The research will also look at how an individual animal’s genetic make-up can make it more or less susceptible to CWD infection.

“We will be taking a close look at why some deer get sick with CWD and why some don’t,” said Tom Hobbs, CSU professor and project leader. “Is their susceptibility to the disease controlled by the environment where they live? By their genetics? By the other deer they contact? We want to understand the things that determine individual variation in disease transmission.”

The interdisciplinary team will be led by Hobbs and Mike Miller from the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Team members include Randy Boone, research scientist with the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory; Mike Antolin, biology professor; Jennifer Hoeting, associate professor of statistics; and Simon Tavener, mathematics professor.