Legislature supporting small business

Column by Tracy Kraft-Tharp
Posted 6/30/20

2020 has been an historic and unprecedented year. After months of pandemic news, lock downs and social distancing, this month the Colorado General Assembly and small businesses across the state …

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Legislature supporting small business

Posted

2020 has been an historic and unprecedented year. After months of pandemic news, lock downs and social distancing, this month the Colorado General Assembly and small businesses across the state turned their attentions to economic recovery.

Working closely with Simplify Colorado Sales Tax, a coalition of businesses, trade organizations and taxpayers, I’m pleased to report the passage of HB 20-1022 and a major step toward supporting Colorado small business. The bill is now on the way to Governor Polis’ desk for signature.

The mission of the Simplify Colorado Sales Tax is one that I share: to reform Colorado’s excessively complex sales and use tax system with fairness, simplicity, and predictability for business and a competitive economic environment in Colorado that will attract employers.

HB 20-1022 allows the Legislative Sales & Use Tax Simplification Task Force originally established in 2017 to continue its work to advance legislation in order to simplify Colorado ‘s sales and use tax system. Why is extending this task force so critical? In 2013, the Council on State Taxation rated Colorado as the fourth worst state in the country with a grade of “D” due to our complicated patchwork of more than local sales tax jurisdictions.

Over the last three years, the task force has made significant progress in a mission to make doing business in Colorado easier. One of the best examples of task force progress is the development of a streamlined data base that will provide administrative simplification. Along with several small businesses, I recently had the opportunity to observe the system and am pleased to report that we are well on our way to launching this critical resource.

Prior to the creation data base, business owners were faced with deciphering more than 700 different sales tax jurisdictions, piles of paperwork and multiple tax filings. Without this new system, Colorado’s small businesses would face one more crippling barrier to success. At a time when Coloradans are struggling and we’re all focusing on economic recovery, it is even more important to do everything we can to foster our small businesses. This system will streamline tax collections and allow Colorado businesses to do what they do best – create jobs and drive our economy.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses employ more than 1 million employees and 99% of all businesses. Simplifying the sales tax process to protect small businesses and our economy is not only a common-sense solution, but fiscally responsible and an absolute necessity.

State Representative Tracy Kraft-Tharp has been a small business owner and represents House District 29 in Jefferson County. She is a candidate for District 1 Jeffco Commissioner.

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