I want Colorado businesses to grow sustainably. My legislative goal is to work for a economy that puts people to work in good paying jobs.
Jobs create quality of life, and a thriving economy creates good jobs. In addition, our ability to provide public services is directly tied to a vibrant economy with abundant, well paying jobs. I am committed to economic recovery and job creation.
Here are a few ideas:
- Encourage and Enable Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Develop a Statewide Economic Development Plan
- Continue the Focus on a Renewable Energy Economy
- Encourage Business Lending
- Support Tourism
- Implement a Buy Colorado Initiative
I will expand on these later in this section.
Supporting Colorado’s business-friendly practices
Small businesses create 70% of all new jobs, so we must have an economic environment that encourages their prosperity. I am skeptical of legislation that imposes additional costs or burdens on business – our low personal, corporate, property and capital gain tax rates and low utility costs are appealing to businesses.
I support efforts to preserve and promote our low tax, business friendly environment.
Investing in education
An educated workforce is important to employers looking to locate or grow in Colorado. However, Colorado is ranked 50th in per capita spending on higher education and almost as poorly on secondary education. To remain attractive to businesses, we must invest in education. Read more about the importance of education.
Removing Barriers to Economic Recovery
Over the last few months, business men and women have been telling me that the business personal property tax, the Gallagher Amendment, and The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) are major impediments to job creation and economic growth. Colorado’s business personal property tax is one of the highest in the country. The Gallagher Amendment, which sets the ratio of assessed valuation of residential property to non-residential property, has resulted in a non-residential property assessment of 29%, which as almost three times that paid on residential property. TABOR’s “ratchet effect” makes it difficult for governments to restore services and can slow or prevent economic recovery.
We should begin a statewide conversation about how to fix the Gallagher Amendment, the business personal property tax, and TABOR. For the long term improvement of Colorado’s economy, we need tax provisions that are more favorable to commercial property, capital equipment and variable economic cycles. Since constitutional action is required, we need to start the conversation among the voters.
Encouraging National Efforts to Fix the Economy
The anemic economy is a direct result of outsourcing (moving jobs overseas), continuing trade deficits, (importing more products than we are exporting), unfair trade practices, currency manipulation by foreign governments and an energy policy dependent on fossil fuels and imported oil. This past winter, I worked with a bipartisan group of local businessmen, the Coalition for a Prosperous America, to encourage congressional leaders to address these issues. With near unanimous approval, the State Legislature adopted our resolution, HR10-1013, which calls for federal policies that reduce the trade deficit and remedy unfair trade practices. I will continue my bipartisan efforts in the legislature to create a future of prosperity and opportunity in Colorado for our children and grandchildren.
More On Jobs for a Strong Colorado
To encourage and Enable Innovation and Entrepreneurship I support local efforts, such as the EDC’s Operation 6035 Plan; to attract new businesses and nurture new innovative ones by helping them access resources, capital and know-how to grow their businesses. We must also facilitate access to information and provide an “intellectual infrastructure” where courses and collaborations are readily available and connections to trade associations, think tanks and academic institutions are easily accessed. Expanded internet access and broadband are one way to improve this access.
To develop a Statewide Economic Development Plan we need an effective state wide economic development plan that leverages existing community assets and supplements local efforts by selectively using incentives, such as tax credits, rebates, exemptions, abatements, expanded enterprise zones and job training assistance.
Experiences in other states and communities have proven the effectiveness of “economic gardening”, a strategy that focuses on supporting high-growth, and high-potential local small businesses to generate a large number of new sustainable jobs. The primary role of state government in supporting these businesses is to cultivate a business environment responsive to the growth needs of this rapidly growing business sector. Linking local homegrown businesses to resources, technology, data bases, training programs, educational institutions and expertise has proven effective in helping them to grow. A statewide economic gardening strategy to nurture Colorado companies is part of my plan to kick start Colorado’s economy.
To continue the Focus on a Renewable Energy Economy we must be consistent with the State Climate Action Plan and we must continue to focus on renewable energy technology jobs. The immediate economic benefits of employment opportunities and innovations in technology are supplemented by the long term benefits to the environment.
To encourage Business Lending I will work to enable businesses, and particularly small businesses, to carry on and expand their activities. Because With tightening credit, businesses with legitimate needs have been denied the loans they count on.
To support Tourism I will promote full funding of the Colorado State Tourism Office so it can promote Colorado as a destination across the country for hiking, biking, hunting, angling, and vacationing. Tourism accounts for 200,000+ jobs in Colorado. It is often the impetus for attracting entrepreneurs to become permanent Colorado residents.
To implement a Buy Colorado Initiative I propose a Buy Colorado program to support local businesses and relocalization policies. Our state spends billions on contracts for goods and services – we should have a preference program for Colorado businesses. Local businesses are unlikely to relocate and they retain and redistribute their wealth in our communities.