Legislative Briefs…

HB 1159 – Introduced by Rep. Sal Pace (D-Pueblo), a bill (supported by CFB with conditions) that would have required mitigation to be considered when a certain amount of water is transfered from on division to another division.  HB 1159 was passed out of House Ag Committee last week but was lost on the House floor on Friday (2/5) after much discussion and numerous attempts to amend the bill.

HB 1190 – This bills suspends the sales tax exemption on energy related uses during the manufacturing process, including irrigation.  CFB officially opposes HB 1190.  This bill sailed through the Colorado House last week and was considered on 2nd reading in the Colorado Senate on Monday (2/8).

Of note, Rep. Sonnenberg was able to amend the bill to re-exempt off-road diesel used in agricultural production while the bill was considered by the House.  Late last evening, the Colorado Senate passed an amendment that would re-exempt sales tax on energy related expenses used for irrigation.  In short, with these two amendments now part of the bill, Colorado agriculture is completely re-exempt from the sales tax provision associated with HB 1190.  Specifically, the amendment added to 1190 late Monday evening is as follows:

The exemption reads:

…….Shall not apply to sales and purchases of:

(A) Diesel fuel purchased for off-road use;

(B) Electricity, coal, gas fuel oil, steam, coke, or nuclear fuel purchased for agricultural purposes; or

(C) coal, gas, fuel oil, steam, coke, or nuclear fuel for use in generating electricity.

CFB estimates that these amendments to HB 1190 will save Colorado agriculture in excess of $10 million annually.

HB 1195 –   This bill suspends the sales tax exemption for agricultural compounds including pesticides, herbicides, bull semen and livestock related antibiotics.  CFB officially opposes this bill.  HB 1195 has passed the House and will be considered by the Colorado Senate on 3rd reading on Wednesday (2/10).  Of note, most of the bills in this package of sales tax exemption suspensions are being stripped of the initial 3-year sunset and made permanent through amendments on the Senate floor.  The 3-year sunset in HB 1195 has been preserved.  CFB is urging a “NO” vote on HB 1195.


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