DENVER The House voted Monday to suspend a tax that business groups despise, although Democrats warned it could cost local governments hundreds of millions of dollars.
House Bill 1141 passed 34-31, with support from all Republicans and one Democrat. It would suspend the business personal property tax for all purchases made in 2012 and 2013.
It sponsor, Rep. Chris Holbert, argued that it would spur a buying spree by businesses and bring in new sales tax revenue.
It is an economic stimulus bill, Holbert said. The fundamental question is, do you want to encourage business to prosper?
The bill would force the state to pay $37 million in 2013 and $76 million the following year to make up for the revenue school districts will lose.
Local governments, like counties and fire districts, would lose $90 million in 2013 and $190 million in 2014, according to the Legislatures fiscal analysis.
The state would not replace that revenue, something that Democrats pointed out before Mondays vote.
This is a huge burden on local communities that are already facing huge deficits like we are at the state, and were just making it worse for them, said Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver.
The bill now goes to the Senate, which has rejected a number of business personal property tax cuts the past few years.
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