Commissioners vote to eliminate business personal property tax

Posted 9/25/18

On Sept. 18, the Board of County Commissioners voted to eliminate its portion of business personal property tax (BPPT), payable to its general fund. The elimination of the tax does not apply to any …

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Commissioners vote to eliminate business personal property tax

Posted

On Sept. 18, the Board of County Commissioners voted two-to-one to eliminate its portion of business personal property tax (BPPT), payable to its general fund.

Commissioner Casey Tighe was the no vote.

“I appreciate those who came forward advocating for business, but eliminating this tax will result in most of the tax credit going to fewer than ten businesses in Jeffco," Tighe said in a press release. "I believe this discussion, and any tax adjustments, should have occurred during the overall county mill levy and county budget actions that will be occurring in the next few weeks."

The elimination of the tax does not apply to any other county funds, such as library, urban renewal or other special district funds.

The effort was spearheaded by the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation (Jeffco EDC) and county commissioners Libby Szabo and Tina Francone.

The Jeffco EDC believes “the elimination of the tax will increase the county’s competitive advantage in attracting and expanding primary employers, encourage economic growth and strengthening the county’s business-friendly environment. But more importantly, it supports the retention of the businesses that have already chosen Jefferson County as home,” states a press release.

What is BPPT?

BPPT stands for business personal property tax. The state defines business personal property as “equipment, machinery, furniture, security devices, household furnishings and signs which are used for the production of income or in the operation of a business.”

Colorado business owners must itemize their business personal property and pay taxes annually on the value of their business personal property tax.

Where does the state legislature stand on BPPT?

BPPT has been a long-time issue presented in the state legislature.

A recent effort, House Bill 18-1036, failed on Feb. 1. It would have increased the exemption of BPPT value from $7,400 to $50,000, beginning in the 2018 tax year and would be adjusted for inflation for subsequent property tax cycles.

Pros and cons BPPT

Pro: According to the Denver Business Journal, “a number of counties that are heavily agricultural or that have a substantial amount of land that is federally owned get as much as 20 percent of their annual revenues from the tax.”

Con: The Denver Business Journal writes that “many companies feel they are being double-taxed for both the buildings they occupy and the equipment that is inside them.”

In their words in Jeffco

“Today is a monumental day for Jefferson County. Jeffco EDC has been working for decades to eliminate this unfair tax on businesses. We are pleased that the Jefferson County Commissioners view themselves as partners with the business community by understanding that their investment will yield a greater return by eliminating this tax.” — Kristi Pollard, president and CEO of the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation.

“I am thrilled to have been a champion of businesses. The business personal property tax is a bad tax that discourages businesses from growing and locating in Jefferson County. I have advocated for years to eliminate this job killing measure, and I am pleased to have been able to lead the charge at eliminating it in Jefferson County.” — Jefferson County Commissioner Libby Szabo.

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