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Bill Aims To Draw New Businesses To Struggling Colorado Communities

going out of business sign, economy
Laura Palmisano

A bipartisan bill introduced in the state legislature this week looks to give struggling Colorado communities a jump-start. 

Senate Bill 282 would create ‘tax-friendly zones’ in up to 30 highly distressed counties across the state. 

"We are talking about areas that have the highest unemployment and lowest wages," said bill sponsor House Majority Leader Crisanta Duran, D-Denver. 

"The tax-friendly zone will enable a new business that can prove that they will create new jobs in Colorado that are not substantially similar to a business in a surrounding area to be able to receive an income tax credit for new employees and the business," said Duran. 

She said these businesses would be required to collaborate with a university or community college in the zone to receive the tax breaks.

"And the reason for that is we want to continue to build partnerships between colleges and the business to be able to make sure that there’s good paying jobs that will be available as a results of the partnership," Duran said. 

She said the goal of the bill is to help spur employment and economic development in struggling Colorado counties. 

Laura joined KVNF in 2014. She was the news director for two years and now works as a freelance reporter covering Colorado's Western Slope. Laura is an award-winning journalist with work recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado Broadcasters Association, and RTDNA. In 2015, she was a fellow for the Institute for Justice & Journalism. Her fellowship project, a three-part series on the Karen refugee community in Delta, Colorado, received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award.
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