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2013 Mid-Session Legislative Update

The 2013 Colorado Legislative Session is in full swing. Otten Johnson’s lawyers have been monitoring a number of bills, some of which are highlighted below. For more information on these bills and others, please visit

TRANSIT STATION PARKING: SB 13-027, if adopted, would allow private and public entities other than RTD to lease, own and/or operate parking facilities at or near mass transit stations and to charge people for parking in such facilities. The bill has currently passed on Third Reading in the Senate and has been assigned to the House Committee on Transportation & Energy.

HOA INFORMATION & RESOURCE CENTER: HB 13-1134 (1) clarifies that property owners associations and other common interest communities formed prior to the adoption of the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act must register with the HOA Information & Resource Center, (2) empowers the HOA Information & Resource Officer to report suspected CCIOA violations to the Colorado Division of Real Estate, and (3) allows the HOA Information & Resource Officer to request certain information from associations. The bill has been introduced in the House and assigned to the Business, Labor, Economic & Workforce Development Committee.

PROPERTY TAX PROTEST PILOT PROGRAM FOR DENVER:  HB-13-1113 creates a pilot program for an alternative property tax valuation protest and appeal procedure for the City and County of Denver. The pilot program includes two primary changes to the current protest and appeal procedure: (1) the deadline for filing property tax appeals is extended from June 1st to November 15th; and (2) property owners must file an appeal directly with the Board of Equalization rather than first going through the Assessor. HB-13-1113 has been signed into law, but it still has to be approved by the Denver City Council before it will go into effect.

EXPANSION OF REPRESENTATION OF CLOSELY HELD ENTITIES BY NON-ATTORNEYS:: HB-13-1052 increases the threshold amount of matters in which non-attorneys are permitted to represent closely held entities in court. Previously, non-attorney officers of closely held entities could represent their company in court for matters that did not exceed $10,000. HB-13-1052 increases that amount to $15,000. The bill was signed into law on March 15, 2013.

CONSERVATION EASEMENT INCOME TAX CREDIT CAP: HB 13-1183 would amend Section 39-22-522(2.5), C.R.S., to extend the annual cap on the aggregate state income tax credits available to taxpayers for conservation easement donations. If adopted, the total income tax credits that may be claimed by all taxpayers would be $45 million for the calendar year 2014 and each calendar year thereafter, and, if a cap is reached in any given calendar year, only $15 million in income tax credit certificate applications may be waitlisted to the next available calendar year. This bill passed third reading in the House and has been assigned to the Senate Finance Committee.

LOCAL JOB CREATION DISTRICTS:: HB 13-1212 proposes an economic development mechanism for local governments to form “local job creation districts,” providing for a “local job creation authority” to participate in the financing of public improvements through tax increment financing, which improvements support an eligible project within an approved district. An eligible project must be approved by the authority and meet certain criteria generally relating to job creation and capital investment. Amendments to this bill have been proposed by the House Local Government Committee and referred to the House Finance Committee; however, the bill (including the proposed amendments) has not yet passed second reading in the House.

EXPANDED BUSINESS INCENTIVE AGREEMENT TOOL: HB 13-1206 would expand the power of local governments to negotiate business incentive agreements with businesses that are considering relocating to another state. Colorado law currently only gives local governments the power to negotiate business incentive agreements with new or expanding businesses. The bill passed the Colorado House of Representatives.

WATER RIGHTS: HB 13-1013 would amend C.R.S. 37-86-102 to prohibit the federal government from demanding that a water right owner transfer to the government a partial or joint ownership interest in a water right as a condition to the government’s granting a right-of-way or special use permit. This legislation arose in connection with the United States Forest Service Interim Directive 2709.11-2012-2, which requires that ski resorts with special use permits to operate their resorts on federal lands transfer their water rights to the Forest Service without compensation as a condition to the special use permit.  Amendments to this bill have been proposed by the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee and referred to the House Committee on Appropriations. 

Otten Johnson lawyers track many pieces of legislation. For information on these bills or if you have questions about other legislation, contact one of our attorneys (click here).