College cuts bring chaos to Senate

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College cuts bring chaos to Senate

Senate president Peter Groff: 'You can't gut higher ed like a fish'

Groff

College cuts bring chaos to Senate

Groff

Repealing some tax breaks intrigues Democrats

Herald Denver Bureau


DENVER – Democrats are getting more interested in the new-found power of the Legislature to repeal tax breaks.


Last week, legislative attorneys told lawmakers that a recent state Supreme Court decision gives them the power to repeal tax breaks the Legislature has granted over the last several decades – a power lawmakers didn’t think they had under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.


They took no action Thursday, but it might only be a matter of time.


"We … need to have a longer conversation about the special interest tax exemptions we are paying," Senate President Peter Groff told his fellow Democrats, adding that he’s not opposed to calling a special session on tax breaks.


The Legislature handed out several tax breaks in the flush years of the late 1990s, including credits for Internet service, coin collectors, fuel for farm vehicles and the sale of bull semen.


They won’t be repealed easily, said Rep. Jack Pommer, D-Boulder.


"Each one of these tax breaks is in here because somebody fought hard to get it in here," Pommer said.


Budget committee member Sen. Abel Tapia, D-Pueblo, wants to look at tax credit repeals, but not right away.


"I actually am worried about jumping too quickly into any of these tax credits or tax structure without a complete and thorough review," Tapia said.


jhanel@durangoherald.com

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