Bill to Streamline CO Tax Collections Advance

(March 21) – Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp’s bipartisan bill to simplify sales tax collections in Colorado won the unanimous support of the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee this afternoon.

HB17-1216, also sponsored by Rep. Lang Sias, R-Arvada, would convene a three-year task force to study and report annually on ways to streamline local sales tax rates and collection processes across Colorado.

“By simplifying the state’s overly complex sales and use tax system, our intention is to create a simple, fair and predictable system without impacting overall revenue,” said Rep. Kraft-Tharp.

In Colorado, the same product is subject to myriad different local sales tax rates, depending on the home address of the purchaser. Every merchant who collects sales taxes is required to have a license from every jurisdiction to which the merchant remits sales taxes. Witnesses testified today that computation of local sales taxes across the state is so time- and labor-intensive that many smaller companies try to ignore the law or shun statewide sales efforts, stunting their growth potential.

Patrick Boyle of the Colorado Competitive Council testified that Colorado’s system is the worst in the nation and that to call the system Byzantine would be an insult to a great empire.

Others testifying favorably about HB17-1216 included representatives of the Colorado Municipal League, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. The bill rides a 12-0 vote to the House Appropriations Committee.

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