West Slope legislators receive high marks from business group

Tony Gagliardi NFIB

Four state legislators representing Western Colorado received scores above 90 percent in the latest grading by a small business advocacy group.

The National Federation of Independent Business based the scores on voting on 12 measures during the 2021-2022 session of the Colorado General Assembly.

Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the NFIB, said Gov. Jared Polis signed two of the 12 measures into law. “But that good news is outweighed by five other bills he also signed into law that were not helpful for small businesses,” Gagliardi said.

Gagliardi said 13 state senators and 21 state representatives received scores above 90 percent.

They included State Sen. Ray Scott, a Republican from Grand Junction representing District 7, and State Sen. Don Coram, a Republican from Montrose representing District 6.
Scott received a 91 percent and Coram and 92 percent.

They also included State Rep. Janice Rich, a Republican from Grand Junction representing District 55, and State Rep. Matt Soper, a Republican from Delta representing District 54. Rich received a score of 91 percent and Soper a score of 92 percent.

Scott and Coram are term-limited. Rich is running for election to the Senate District 7 set vacated by Scott.

The NFIB opposed nine of the 12 measures upon which the grading was based and supported three.

A measure was enacted that allows pass-through entities to elect to pay state income tax at the entity level and claim federal deductions for state and local taxes.

So was a measure that reduced the corporate and individual state income tax rate from 4.55 percent to 4.4 percent.
The measure also exempted rate reductions from statutory requirements that tax expenditure legislation including a tax preference performance statement and a repeal after a specific period of tax years.

But other measures the NFIB opposed also were signed into law. They included measures prohibiting stores and retail food establishments from providing single-use plastic carryout bags, creating new funding sources for transportation infrastructure to support electric vehicles, defining instances in which overpayments of workers compensation benefits are recoverable, establishing a new recycling program and permitting lawsuit plaintiffs to assert direct negligence claims against employers.