Foes wary of tax breaks, Gov. Ritter is likely to sign a bill aiming to build up tourism
(Rich Jones and George Awuor quoted in article. First few paragraphs of article appear below.)
By Andy Vuong
The Denver Post
Last fall, a group of powerful Colorado business leaders set their sights on passing
legislation to create millions of dollars in annual tax breaks for marquee venues that
would draw tourists.
The so-called Colorado Regional Tourism Act was pitched as a way to boost out-ofstate revenue, generate jobs and encourage new developments that can piggy-back on attractions such as a NASCAR racetrack or Disneyland-type amusement park.
Critics say the only clear-cut winners are the business leaders pushing the measure,
pointing to a new report that shows a similar, $30 million-a-year tax-break program
has failed to deliver on economic-development promises.
"There's no excuse for using public money to do this, especially at a time when the
state government is the leading recessionary element in the state of Colorado," said
Jeff Zax, an economics professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, whose
research was part of the report on the tax-break program.