Hot Sheet

Colorado NFIB giddy over latest economic news, but legislature could do more

Author: Joey Bunch - December 13, 2017 - Updated: December 13, 2017

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National Federation of Independent BusinessNFIB Colorado state director Tony Gagliardi (Photo courtesy of the NFIB)

Yeah, that’s good, but …

That was the reaction of the rarely satisfied Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, after his national organization released a report Tuesday heralding economic optimism of its members.

Just think of how happy they could be if the legislature would cut them some slack on sales and use taxes, he said.

“The numbers in this month’s Index of Small Business Optimism released today absolutely astound,” Gagliardi said in a statement. “The highest since 1983’s record and the second highest level in the Index’s 44-year history. One can only imagine how much faster this great economic news could accelerate here, if Colorado were to finally get a rein on its sales and use tax structure.”

The Colorado NFIB said the state has more than 700 taxing districts, “which has created a costly, confusing, needlessly time-consuming burden on small businesses, especially for the ones that don’t have the resources to pay someone solely to handle compliance.”

Last session the bipartisan House Bill 1216, created a legislative task force to work with the business community and tax experts to try to cut some of the red tape from tax collections.

The bill was sponsored by Reps. Lang Sias, R-Arvada, and Tracy Kraft-Tharp, D-Wheat Ridge, with Sens. Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge, and Tim Neville, R-Littleton.

“What we desperately need is a single application process for sales and use tax compliance in this state. Were that to happen,” Gagliardi said. “I have no doubt that today’s optimism could be sustained for a very long while.”

“The NFIB indicators clearly anticipate further upticks in economic growth for the fourth quarter,”Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist, stated. “This is a dramatically different picture than owners presented during the weak 2006-16 recovery.”

To read the full NFIB full monthly report, click here.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.