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Colo. Legislators OK Relief For Eating Places Amid Virus

By Abraham Gross · December 3, 2020, 2:02 PM EST

Colorado would allow food retailers to retain sales tax collected on up to $70,000 of net taxable sales from November 2020 through February 2021, under a bill passed by the state Legislature in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

H.B. 1004, which passed the Colorado House on Wednesday by a 63-0 vote with two excused, would allow food retailers to deduct from state net taxable sales the lesser of their sales or $70,000 and keep the sales tax collected. The deduction would apply to restaurants, drinking places and food trucks, according to the bill. H.B. 1004 passed in the Senate the same day, 35-0.

The state House concurred in Senate amendments that added vintner's restaurants to the list of qualified alcoholic beverage establishments and a declaration stating that the measure is intended to provide relief to specific industries that have been especially hurt by the pandemic and public health measures.

The bill is expected to reduce state general fund revenues by $39.3 million to $52.8 million for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, according to a Senate fiscal note. It was introduced Monday by primary sponsor Rep. Alex Valdez, D-Denver, and first passed in the House on Tuesday.

The measure will next be sent to Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, who has indicated that he supports the bill.

--Additional reporting by Jaqueline McCool. Editing by Neil Cohen.

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