Dave DaviaDave DaviaNovember 26, 20185min183

For months, news reports, candidates and politicos touted the countdown to election day. With the votes cast and results behind us, we can turn our collective attention to another milestone on the calendar that will have a huge impact on our economy – the holiday shopping season. While retailers across the state have been preparing for a busy season, they have also been plagued with a new cabal of bureaucratic red tape that threatens their success and presents an almost insurmountable challenge for many.


Mike KrauseMike KrauseOctober 17, 20186min626

Colorado voters will have a choice this fall between two transportation funding measures.  Proposition 109 focuses on road and bridge infrastructure, without a tax or fee increase, while Proposition 110 uses roads as a hook for a massive sales tax increase, a slush fund for cities and counties, and mystery transit projects mostly aimed at Metro Denver. 


Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirNovember 1, 20173min873

Hat tip to the Loveland Reporter-Herald for profiling an obscure tax issue that eventually could find its way onto just about every TV screen in Colorado: the city of Loveland’s attempt to assess local sales tax on internet streaming behemoth Netflix.

An audit last year by City Hall in the northern Front Range burg revealed Netflix hadn’t collected from its Loveland customers — or remitted to the city — some $85,000 in sales tax during the previous three years. After accounting for penalties and interest, Loveland handed the entertainment giant a tab for $116,508.22. Netflix doubtless could sneeze and more than that paltry sum would come out — but it balked at the bill on principle.

According to the Reporter-Herald’s Julia Rentsch, Netflix filed a complaint with the city challenging the tax bill. The complaint contends both city and state law exempt the streaming service from taxation as it doesn’t constitute, “sales of tangible personal property that are also subject to the Colorado sales tax.” The complaint states in part:

“Netflix provides a service that begins when Netflix sources entertainment content from movies and television studios, and continues as Netflix optimizes that content for viewing, creates unique and personalized interfaces for every single subscriber, and provides a seamless viewing experience … Therefore, the Streaming Service constitutes a nontaxable service under the City Code and Colorado law.”

Just last week, the city backed down, but the issue might not go away. In fact, the city wants to punt it to the state:

On Thursday, the city rescinded the tax assessment and dismissed the complaint, but it says it wants the state to decide whether Colorado cities may tax online streaming service subscriptions going forward.

This whole issue, it should be noted, is distinct from the years-long grudge match between state governments and e-commerce retailers like Amazon over the assessment of sales taxes on goods sold online.