March 15, 2016
For Immediate Release
Longmont Area Chamber Opposes HB1275
Longmont, CO - The Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce announced its opposition to Colorado House Bill 1275.
"We know legislators are being creative in looking for new tax revenue, but this bill sends a clear anti-business message," said Kyle Snyder, Chamber chairman. "We also feel the proper venue for this discussion is with the U.S. Congress, not individual states."
The Longmont Chamber joins several other business organizations, including the state Chamber - the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry - in opposing the measure.
"HB 1275 creates a Colorado blacklist," Snyder said. "It assumes that a company operating in a blacklisted country is avoiding taxes unless it proves otherwise," he said.
"Countries such as Singapore, Ireland and the Netherlands would be blacklisted as tax havens. Many Longmont industries are active worldwide, and as a Chamber we are concerned when legislation potentially threatens the operations of innovative businesses and significant employers."
Snyder said there could be unintended long-term consequences.
"Colorado might appear heavy-handed regarding its existing industries," he said. "It could also earn an anti-business reputation among site selectors and companies looking for a new location. It could also impede Colorado businesses with legitimate reasons to operate in the now-blacklisted countries from pursuing good business opportunities.
"HB1275 gives the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) the discretion to define a legitimate business purpose," Snyder said. "The company would have to prove to the ‘satisfaction of the executive director of the DOR' they are incorporated in a tax haven country for ‘reasons that meet the federal economic substance doctrine.' This gives huge discretion to the DOR. The DOR currently has the authority to determine income shifting, and should use their existing tools to prevent corporate tax abuse."