$5 million to encourage growth in seven industries

Several new laws go into effect on Wednesday including some designed to boost economic development in the state.

Chief among that package of new economic development laws, which were approved by the Colorado Legislature earlier this year, is a measure intended to encourage more science-based businesses that offer higher-paying jobs to locate in the state.

That new law, which was the first bill the Democrats introduced in the Colorado House this year, created the Advanced Industries Acceleration grant program. It offers $5 million in tax credits to encourage growth in seven industries: advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources, infrastructure engineering and information technology.

Another new law creates an “economic gardening” program within the Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Under it, 20 small companies will be chosen over the next two years to receive specialized services they might not otherwise be able to afford in order to enhance their businesses, expand them and create new jobs.

The services they would qualify for include high-level business consulting, database research and analysis and support in market research and business strategies.

The new business-related laws also include an expansion of the state’s Aircraft Manufacturers New Employee Tax Credit, a measure that was sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature.

That new law, called for under HB1080, extends the credit to others in the aircraft industry to allow companies focused on airplane maintenance and repair to qualify for the credit, including companies that work on completion or modification of aircraft.

The Legislature also approved a new law that makes permanent a temporary refund paid only when the state had surplus revenue under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

That refund, the Colorado Earned Income Tax Credit, provides a state income tax refund equal to 10 percent of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which goes to low- to moderate-income taxpayers.

Other new laws that go into effect Wednesday include a bill requiring oil and gas drillers to report spills of one barrel of oil or chemicals within a day of discovering them.

The new law requires that reporting to be done to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and to local authorities where the spill is located.

Additionally, two new laws go into effect laying out explicit procedures for homeowners associations to follow when trying to collect unpaid dues, and a requirement that a manager of those associations be licensed by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.


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