Commissioners Approve Tax Incentive for Businesses
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.- Mesa County Commissioners aren't leaving any stone unturned when it comes to reinvigorating our economy. The county is taking the lead in Colorado, offering tax incentives to new and expanding businesses.
The state legislature passed a bill enabling counties to offer the incentive, and on Monday, Mesa County was one of the first in the state to adopt the policy.
Matthew Collins, the chief operating officer of Lewis Engineering, said, "We're a diamond in the rough when it comes to these manufacturing services that we provide. I think the county commissioners recognize that and I think they are trying to not only bring new jobs here with new companies, but I also think that they are trying to incentivize existing companies."
The personal property tax is a costly burden to many businesses year after year.
Merritt Kinsey, president and CEO of Western Slope Industries, said, "You can see we've got millions of dollars of capital invested here, and we have to pay tax on the stated value of that equipment every year."
Mesa County Commissioner, Craig Meis, said, "It doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you pay tax on equipment to buy it, to pay tax every year to use it."
By approving the tax incentive policy, local businesses meeting certain criteria will have the means grow stronger.
Diane Schwenke, the president and CEO of the Grand Junction Area Chamber, said, "I think it sends a clear message to the existing business community that this is a county that welcomes expansion."
"The beauty of this legislation that our county has adopted and implemented is it will help all companies that have the potential to grow, start-ups as well as existing companies," said Collins.
Among the criteria for expanding businesses to get the refund includes creating jobs.
Schwenke said, "From a consumer, member of the tax paying public in Mesa County, you should be excited. We are not giving up any existing tax revenues. We're actually looking at new equipment and jobs being created. So I think it's just a win-win for the community, the companies and the county."
County commissioners say they've been vocal on the business personal property tax, and are happy to alleviate the burden for some and in turn, spur county development.
To be eligible, a business' level of investment must be at least:
- Twice the amount of the business' original investment in the facility;
- A minimum of $1 million
To be eligible, the expanding businesses must also increase employment by:
- 10 percent;
- At least one full-time new employee
Incentive agreements will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Applications will be processed through the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (for new businesses) and the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce (for expanding businesses). These two agencies will be responsible for verifying eligibility for businesses that apply.
The terms of any written agreement based on this policy can extend for up to 10 years.