Colorado State Representative
Created on Saturday, 28 February 2015 11:10
Created on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 21:07
Created on Tuesday, 10 February 2015 11:40
Created on Tuesday, 03 February 2015 19:16
The Denver Post Editorial Board released an article titled, “Don’t Hobble Colorado Renewable Energy Rules.” The article talks about the positives that Senate Bill 252 and Governor Ritter’s standards provide Colorado’s rural communities. The article then provides a position that is against this year’s Senate Bill 44 and 46, which lowers the renewable energy standards.
The renewable energy sector has indeed provided jobs and money to people in our rural communities. However, the article neglects to state how the renewable energy sector is heavily subsidized. Proponents for renewable energy state that renewable energy receives subsidies just like oil companies do. However, in a 2013 Forbes article titled, “Renewables Get 25 Times the Subsidy that Fossil Fuels do,” the comparison of renewable subsidies versus oil subsidies is presented.
The Forbes article goes on to state, “These subsidies have nothing to do with cozying up to oil companies or indulging global-warming skeptics. The spending is a way for governments to buy political stability.” The article also goes on to describe how subsidizing the renewable energy sector is plainly spending tax dollars on renewable energies that benefit producers, not consumers.
The argument that rural communities benefit from rural energy mandates is very concerning. The evidence that it is not benefiting rural communities can be seen in Pueblo, Colorado. Recently energy has been a hot topic and many Pueblo residents have had trouble being able to afford paying energy bills, causing shutoffs. There are many arguments as to why this is happening, but one cannot look past the fact that the energy company must comply with renewable energy mandates and infrastructure must be created to do so. With the creation of infrastructure, energy companies must look at how to recoup this money and the cost is pushed on to the consumers.
Lastly, the recent Denver Post article states the creation of jobs in the renewable energy sector, but they neglect to state that the oil and gas sector is one of Colorado’s leading job creators. In the last election, Colorado almost saw ballot initiatives “against” oil and gas development, promoted by a Democrat Congressman and many state legislators. It seems that politicians are determining who the winners and losers are for energy development. Overregulating oil and gas companies, while at the same time providing mandates to use renewable energies, is not right for Colorado.
No person would say renewable energies are not great. The benefits that renewable energy could provide are wonderful. With that being said, is it right that we push the cost of renewable energy creation on to the taxpayers and citizens of Colorado and create burdensome regulations on the oil and gas industries, which will inevitably cause job loss? It is time that we take a hard look at the effects that renewable energies create rather than ignore them. The citizens of Colorado deserve jobs, effective spending of their tax dollars, and the ability to pay one’s energy bill.
Created on Friday, 30 January 2015 07:48
Created on Thursday, 29 January 2015 09:13
Colorado teachers deserve a break, specifically, a tax break, says state Rep. Clarice Navarro, R-Pueblo. It’s not likely to be the biggest education bill legislators consider this session, but it’s one Navarro says she is “very passionate” about getting passed to give teachers a $250 tax deduction for the school supplies they buy from their own pockets.
Though a rising statehouse star in her own party, Navarro hopes her bill is one Democrats also will help pass.
“I believe this bill should get support on both sides of the aisle, purely because it was already a deduction issued by the federal government, and also because it will benefit our education system and provide a better learning environment for our kids,” she said.
The federal deduction for generous teachers expired in 2013, It had been in place since 2002. In Colorado, the deduction would grow to $500 in 2016 and $750 each year after that.
Navarro has precedence for bipartisanship. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, a top-tier national Democrat, is leading the push to restore the tax break at the federal level.
“Everyone knows teachers who really did go the extra mile…sometimes dipping into their own savings to offset the costs of books or equipment, or to pay for field trips,” Schumer told reporters last November.
Navarro’s bill was assigned by the Democratic House leadership to the chamber’s Finance Committee, and if it passes there, it would go to the House Appropriations Committee. Clearing those hurdles, it would head to the full House for a vote. With a majority vote there, it would start over in the Senate, where it doesn’t yet have a sponsor.
House Bill 1104’s summary states
In previous income tax years, the federal internal revenue code allowed eligible educators to deduct up to $250 of any unreimbursed expenses that the educator paid or incurred for specified school supplies, materials, and equipment that the educator used in his or her classroom.
The federal educator expense deduction expired in 2013 and is currently unavailable for the 2014 or future income tax years.
The bill creates a state educator expense deduction and allows eligible educators to deduct the same unreimbursed expenses that they were previously allowed to deduct at the federal level from federal taxable income for state income tax purposes. Eligible educators may deduct the following amounts:
— For the 2016 income tax year, up to $250;
— For the 2017 income tax year, up to $500; and
— For the 2018 income tax year and each income tax year
thereafter, up to $750.
An eligible educator is defined as a person who is a kindergarten through 12th grade teacher, instructor, counselor, principal, or aide employed in a school for at least 900 hours during a school year