Several bills favorable to business owners have passed into law this legislative session.  For details and links to specific bills see the weekly Legislative Status Report from the Jefferson County Business Lobby.

The following is a brief summary of new laws impacting businesses that will go into effect this year:

HB12-1029 Economic stimulus personal property tax exemption for businesses, provides an exemption from business personal property tax for certain investments in equipment, infrastructure and other personal property made in 2012 and 2013.  It also enables counties to negotiate a reduction of personal property taxes to encourage new businesses to relocate or expand in Colorado.  It was signed into law by the Governor on March 24, 2012. 

HB12-1002 The “CLEAR Act” which stands for Creating Level Expectations For Application Review will grandfather in state agency rules in effect on the date an application for a permit is filed with a state regulatory agency, with some health and safety exceptions.  In addition, if an application is incomplete, the new law may require the agency to give the applicant notice and an opportunity to comply with new requirements.  The law protects businesses from unduly burdensome regulation and provides certainty that the rules existing at the time of permitting will not change during the application review.

HB12-1105 The Wind Energy Property Rights bill, specifically acknowledges wind energy as a property right which is not severable from the surface property rights, and clarifies the way wind energy leases and other instruments affecting property may be created, documented and recorded.

HB12-1119 Success Act To Limit State Agency Fines, limits the Department of Public Health and Environment’s discretion to impose certain kinds of minor fines (for example, for construction-related storm water discharges) without prior notice and the ability to cure the violation to the business owner.  This law is intended to reduce costs and uncertainty associated with minor regulatory violations, support the construction industry and improve voluntary compliance with regulations.

If you’d like to learn more about how these new laws may impact your business, please contact our Business Law Group partner, David A. Closson at [email protected].

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