Business groups polls Colorado members on issues

Tony Gagliardi NFIB

Members of a small business advocacy group in Colorado favor protection from unmerited lawsuits related to the pandemic, according to the latest results of an annual poll.

Members — most of them small business owners — also supported a fee on electric vehicles if the money is used for highway maintenance and construction. But they opposed a road use tax or increase in fuel taxes.

“Some of the responses were of little surprise, but we ask them anyway to gauge intensity of feeling,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

The NFIB polls members about a variety of state and federal issues and uses the results as the basis for lobbying in state capitols and Washington, D.C. In Colorado, the NFIB asked members seven questions in preparation for the upcoming legislative session.

More than 98 percent of members who responded to the poll said businesses should be protected from unmerited COVID-19 lawsuits. More than 90 percent of those who responded said Colorado law should align with federal law to prevent the taxation of forgiven funds from Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Nearly 82 percent of respondents opposed the elimination of selected business tax credits and exemptions to balance the state budget.

Almost 62 percent of respondents indicated they’d support a fee on all electric vehicles if the revenue was used exclusively for highway maintenance and construction.

Nearly 66 percent indicated they’d oppose a 10-cent a gallon increase in fuel tax to fund highway projects.

Respondents were more evenly divided in their opinions on issuing bonds to pay for highway maintenance and construction. While nearly 43 percent were opposed, almost 36 percent were in favor and about 22 percent undecided.

More than 78 percent of respondents came out against a tax based on vehicle miles traveled to fund highway projects.

“What I think of more interest are the answers to four questions on highway maintenance and construction,” Gagliardi said. “Except for one, our members are certain in their opinions. But there are signs of wiggle room if a legislative bill can be crafted and sold right.”