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Gov. Hickenlooper vetoes tax increment financing legislation

DENVER — Friday, June 6, 2014 — Gov. John Hickenlooper today vetoed legislation (House Bill 14-1375) that would have changed the funding formula for tax increment financing.

The governor wrote in a letter to the Colorado House of Representatives that both sides of the legislation have legitimate arguments.

“Urban renewal authorities and tax increment financing are important tools that have facilitated transformative projects and stimulated employment opportunities across the state,” he wrote. “We believe, however, that counties and affected local governments are entitled to a greater say in the urban renewal process, and that widening the tax base for urban renewal projects is an important goal.”

Unfortunately, the governor’s letter says, HB 14-1375 goes a step too far.

“The bill’s provision that mandates the percentage of allocated property tax increment not exceed the percentage of allocated municipal sales tax increment does not account for the complexity and variety of urban renewal projects,” the governor wrote.

The governor encouraged affected stakeholders, along with the General Assembly, to work together to craft a bipartisan, compromise solution that better balances the concerns of all parties.

“A suitable compromise would establish an equitable method for widening the tax base that supports tax increment financing and increase the role and participation of counties and affected local governments in the urban renewal process; all while maintaining the flexibility to develop projects that are focused on addressing the particular needs of a given community,” the governor wrote. “We stand ready to work with counties, municipalities, local governments, business leaders and land use professionals toward developing a consensus solution.”

A copy of the governor’s veto letter is attached to this press release.

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HB14-1375 Veto Letter