Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hickenlooper Enourages Corruption with Enterprise-zone Proposal

Many years ago, Colorado created "enterprise-zones" to encourage businesses to develop and grow within the zones. Governor John Hickenlooper would like to put a cap on that encouragement. After all why would anyone need to encourage business growth anyway?

HB 13-1142 puts a $1 million cap on the amount of credit that can be claimed and seeks to limit the size and scope of enterprise-zones. The zones now cover 70 percent of the state, up from the original 30 percent. At this point, they might as well cover the entire state. I'm all for reducing the size (or making it universal) and letting individual communities choose where they are would be the best option. 1142 doesn't do that of course. It pushes a top-down redrawing of lines by a committee in Denver.

Don't worry, though. I'm sure that there will be no incentive to bribe the committee to ensure that particular areas are included. Just like there will be no incentive to bribe them to grant a waiver so that a business can claim more than the cap. Yes, that great tool of the crony capitalist, waivers, are included in 1142 as well.

I'm all for changing how enterprise-zones work but lets try to do it in a way that doesn't encourage corruption in Denver. We get enough of that in Washington.