Guv Signs Enterprise Zone Reform

(May 15) – A bill reforming the state’s largest economic development program was signed into law this morning by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The signing took place at the chamber of commerce in Boulder, home of the sponsors of HB13-1142, Majority Leader Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D-Boulder) and Sen. Rollie Heath (D-Boulder).

The new law will make the state’s enterprise zone system more targeted at jobs creators. Enterprise zones hand out nearly $100 million in tax credits. Originally designed to encourage development in depressed areas, enterprise zones now cover 70 percent of the state, and more than half of the money is going to big oil and gas companies that are drilling in the state not because they get a tax break, but because there’s oil and gas here.

The measure caps enterprise zone tax credits at $750,000, with 14 years of carryovers that would allow up to $11.2 million in tax credits for a single claim. Savings will be plowed back into other economic development programs that have been shown to be more effective in creating jobs.

“This is a very good bill for jobs in Colorado,” Rep. Hullinghorst said.

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