DENVER (AP) – In the face of vehement opposition from business leaders, Republican legislators will have a chance to develop an alternative proposal to $145 million in tax increases for companies in Colorado.
A package of 13 bills is moving quickly through the legislature, despite opposition from business groups across the state, who claim businesses will be unable to resume hiring if they are hit with more taxes as early as March.
“I keep hearing that you can pass it on to the customer,” said Tony Gagliardi, director of Colorado chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. “You know what that tells me? These people have never signed a paycheck, never developed a business plan. Your competitor sets the prices — the only control you have over business costs is hiring people. And if these go into effect, many small business won’t hire new people.”
The fight over raising taxes to balance the budget is now moving to the Senate, where Republicans say they’ll propose an alternative plan.
Democratic leaders plan to hold hearings on the proposals Wednesday and Thursday. A marathon hearing in the House last week stretched into the early morning hours.
Gov. Bill Ritter wants to raise about $145 million starting in March by ending or suspending 13 tax credits and sales tax exemptions on things like soda, candy and online sales.
Democratic Senate President Brandon Shaffer said he’s given Senate Republican Leader Josh Penry permission to introduce a late bill outlining alternatives to increasing taxes.
See Friday’s Business Journal for a complete list of the bills and the effects they could have on businesses throughout the state.
Amy Gillentine contributed to this story.