Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Senate Committee OKs GOP Bill Terminating Business Personal Property Tax

The Democratic-controlled Senate Business, Labor & Technology Committee approved Tuesday a bill that would eliminate the state's business personal property tax, a levy that is assessed on top of other property and income taxes.

SB 85, sponsored by freshman Sen. Mark Scheffel, R-Parker, was endorsed by Senate president Peter Groff, D-Denver, and won the approval of the committee on a 6-1 vote, with only Democrat Evie Hudak of Arvada opposed.

The personal property tax has been a favorite bogey of the state's business community for decades. Opponents have argued that it unnecessarily and unwisely impedes business investment. Prior efforts at repeal, whether in GOP-led legislatures or Democratic-controlled General Assemblies, have failed.

Scheffel's bill would phase out the tax over 20 years.

Nor is SB 85 the only tax repeal that has gained the endorsement of a Senate committee in the past week.

On Monday another Senate committee approved a bill by Sen. Mike Kopp, R-Littleton, that would repeal the tax businesses must pay on certain insurance premiums.