Mesa County OKs business tax break

Businesses that choose to locate in Mesa County — or local companies that opt to expand their businesses — have the chance at a rebate of their business personal property taxes, thanks to a new program introduced Monday.

County commissioners signed off on a new policy that allows qualifying businesses to negotiate with the county to get a rebate, up to 100 percent,  of what the business owes in personal property taxes.

The new incentive program “sends a very clear message that our county is open for business,” said Betsy Bair, with the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will verify eligible businesses that expand and apply for the program.

New businesses who qualify will apply through the Grand Junction Economic Partnership. To qualify, new businesses will have to invest at least $1 million locally.

For existing businesses, the minimum threshold for qualification is expansion of at least twice the amount of their original investment in their facility, and they must increase their local employment by 10 percent or at least one full-time employee.

Rebate deals potentially can be written for up to 10 years.

Mesa County is among the first statewide to introduce a new incentive program based on legislation that passed the Colorado Legislature in May. That law changed the amount of the business personal property tax that can be negotiated between local governments and businesses, from 50 percent to 100 percent.

Bair told county commissioners Monday the chamber likes the new program because the rebate program is available to any company that meets the definition — “so there’s no playing favorites.”

She also stressed that the program does not divert funds from current county collections, a point Commissioner Steve Acquafresca echoed.

“This incentive has the potential for attracting capital investments that would not occur otherwise, without the incentive there,” Acquafresca said. “So it should be no burden on the county revenue stream.”


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