County plan could 
give business a boost

We don’t have a crystal ball to know how many local businesses are contemplating an expansion of their facilities and workforce. Nor do we know how many new businesses may be considering building facilities and adding jobs here.

But we are certain that the tax incentives approved by the Mesa County commissioners earlier this week could be just the boost some businesses need to act on those plans, sooner rather than later.

What’s more, the tax incentive won’t reduce the amount of tax money the county currently receives one bit.

The tax incentive program allows the county to give an approved business a rebate on its personal property taxes — taxes it pays on things like equipment and fixtures, but not on buildings and real estate. For some businesses with large amounts of equipment, personal property taxes can be significant amounts.

However, the proposed county rebate would be only for personal property taxes that are to be paid in the future for additional equipment placed in new or expanded facilities. There would be no rebate on personal property taxes the business currently pays, and therefore no reduction in county tax revenue.

The rebate may be up to 100 percent of businesses’ new personal property taxes for up to 10 years. To be eligible, a business must invest at least twice the amount it did in its original facility — or a minimum of up to $1 million. It must also increase employment by at least 10 percent, or add at least one full-time employee to its payroll.

For businesses that apply for the rebate, the county will determine whether to approve tax incentives — and how much to offer — on a case-by-case basis.

It will do so with the assistance of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, which will review and verify eligibility for new businesses that apply, and the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, which will deal with expanding businesses.

Mesa County is able to offer the 100 percent rebate on new personal property taxes because of a bill that was approved by the Colorado Legislature earlier this year.

Even so, the commissioners had to work with their staff to create the program for this county and be willing to forego some new tax revenue to offer the tax incentives for businesses operating here.

We applaud the Mesa County commissioners for doing just that as part of their ongoing effort to develop a more business-friendly climate in this county, and to thereby help make more jobs available for local residents.


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