Daily Tax Report: State provides authoritative coverage of state and local tax developments across the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, tracking legislative and regulatory updates,...
By Tripp Baltz
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed a bill ( S.B. 267) repealing the state’s hospital provider fee and replacing it with a new enterprise exempt from the spending limit of the state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
Democrats touted the bill, signed by the governor May 30, as a bipartisan measure that will save the state’s hospitals from $528 million in budget cuts and address several state budget shortcomings.
“It took a lot of work to get to where we are today, but it was time well spent because all Coloradans will benefit,” said Rep. KC Becker (D), House Majority Leader and co-sponsor of the bill, in a statement. “It will literally save lives by preventing dangerous cuts in health care services. It will also allow us to tackle some of our most badly needed transportation projects and help seniors and small businesses.”
The previous program, implemented in 2010, assessed a fee not to exceed 6 percent of net patient revenue on hospital providers. The revenue was then matched by federal dollars, increasing hospital reimbursement by $1.4 billion through September 2016 with no expense to the state’s general fund.
The money generated by the program counted as revenue for purposes of TABOR, a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1992 that limits annual state and local government spending to the rate of inflation plus the rate of population growth. Revenue collected over the TABOR limit must be returned to taxpayers. TABOR also requires voter approval for tax increases.
Recategorizing the provider fee program as the Colorado Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Enterprise (CHASE) within the Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing exempts it from TABOR, relieving pressure on other areas of Colorado’s budget. Opponents of the move said it was bad tax policy, and they decried S.B. 267 as being laden down with numerous pet policy priorities. The measure provides new funding for transportation projects, K-12 education, small business owners, and seniors.
The bill was approved 25-10 in the Senate and 49-16 in the House with bipartisan support.
House Speaker Crisanta Duran (D) said the bill isn’t a long-term solution, “but it is a meaningful step to begin to address the needs of our growing and increasingly prosperous state.”
The bill will provide for $100 million to buy nearly $2 billion in certificates of participation to start to chip away at $9 billion in needs for Colorado’s transportation system and directs $30 million to rural schools. It also reconstitutes the senior homestead property tax exemption as the first rebate to taxpayers in years when TABOR rebates are mandated.
“It is incredibly gratifying to see that after so much work, discussion, and compromise, this important bill is finally law,” said Sen. Lucia Guzman (D), Senate minority leader and a co-sponsor of the bill.
The measures addresses several other areas of tax policy, including:
To contact the reporter on this story: Tripp Baltz in Denver at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ryan C. Tuck at email@example.com
Text of S.B. 267 is at http://src.bna.com/plN.
Copyright © 2017 Tax Management Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)