Mesa County first in Colorado to offer tax incentive program

Kristi Pollard
Kristi Pollard

Three companies have started the process to receive tax incentives under a new program now available in Mesa County.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade approved an application making Mesa County the first county in Colorado to participate in the Rural Jump-Start Zone.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper mentioned the program and Mesa County in his State of the State address. Hickenlooper said Colorado Clean, TSW Analytics and ProStar Geocorp have started the process to apply for tax incentives.

OEDIT will officially begin accepting applications to participate in the program Jan. 19.

Kristi Pollard, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, said she’s looking forward to working with businesses to receive what she described as a “robust tax holiday.”

“We are pleased that OEDIT granted Mesa County the distinct honor of being the first jump-start zone in the state of Colorado,” Pollard said.

The Jump-Start program creates zones in Colorado in which eligible businesses are exempted from paying state and local taxes.

To participate, the core functions of businesses may not compete with existing operations. Businesses must create a minimum of five net new jobs in the county in which they’re located and establish a relationship with an institution of higher education — Colorado Mesa University in Mesa County.

Qualifying businesses are exempt from paying state income, use and sales taxes as well as county and municipal personal property taxes. Their employees also are exempt from paying state income taxes.

Mesa County as well as the cities of Grand Junction and Fruita and town of Palisade all passed resolutions to join in the Jump-Start program and offer additional incentives, Pollard said.

Businesses that apply to receive exemptions under the program will be evaluated initially to determine eligibility and then evaluated annually to ensure ongoing compliance, Pollard said. Businesses may receive tax exemptions for up to four years with an option for an additional four years, she said.

The Jump-Start program positions Mesa County to compete with other areas and other states in recruiting new businesses, Pollard said. But the program also can benefit existing businesses that launch new operations, she said.

For more information about the Rural Jump-Start Zone program in Mesa County, call 245-4332 or visit www.jumpstartmesaco.com.