Leveling Playing Field for CO Businesses

(April 26) – The House gave final approval this morning to Speaker Mark Ferrandino’s bill to level the playing field for Colorado’s Main Street merchants and support Colorado jobs.

The vote was 37-23. Rep. Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch) joined the House Democrats in support of Colorado’s brick-and-mortar businesses and the jobs they create, but said after the vote that he had intended to vote no.

“Having voted on the prevailing side, I look forward to the motion to reconsider,” Rep. McNulty said.

HB13-1295 would set up the Colorado framework for the federal Marketplace Fairness Act, which has broad bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate. The federal bill would allow states to require online and catalog retailers, no matter where they are located, to collect and remit the buyer’s applicable sales taxes – exactly like local retailers are already required to do. Software now exists to calculate and remit the proper state and local sales taxes for every address in the country.

Under Speaker Ferrandino’s bill, online sellers with less than that $1 million in Colorado sales would be exempt.

A 50-state study from the University of Tennessee estimated that Colorado’s state and local revenue losses from uncollected e-commerce sales taxes totaled $173 million in 2012, including $73 million in general fund revenue.

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