Enhanced rural enterprise zones
(1)The portion of any county within an enterprise zone designated pursuant to section 39-30-103 shall be designated as an enhanced rural enterprise zone if the county that contains the area to be so designated meets two or more of the following criteria:
(a)The county has an unemployment rate at least fifty percent above the state average unemployment rate for the most recent period of twelve consecutive months for which data are available from the department of labor and employment;
(b)The county has a population growth rate less than twenty-five percent of the state average population growth rate for the most recent five-year period for which data are available from the United States census bureau or the department of local affairs, or if such data are not available for any five-year period, for the most recent period of not less than five nor more than ten years for which such data are available;
(c)The average per capita income in the county is less than seventy-five percent of the state average per capita income for the most recent period for which data are available from the United States census bureau or the department of local affairs;
(d)The total assessed value of all nonresidential property within the county ranks in the lower one-half of all counties based on the total value of nonresidential property for the most recent year for which such data are available from the department of local affairs;
(e)The county has a population of five thousand or less as estimated by the department of local affairs.
(2)By December 1, 2002, and every two years thereafter, the director of the Colorado office of economic development shall determine whether each county meets two or more of the criteria specified in subsection (1) of this section. Such determination shall be based on the most recent statistics available. The director of the Colorado office of economic development shall provide to each enterprise zone administrator and to the board of county commissioners of each eligible county a list of the counties that meet two or more of the criteria specified in subsection (1) of this section.
(3)If a county containing a previously designated enhanced rural enterprise zone does not appear on the biennial list of eligible counties provided by the director of the Colorado office of economic development, the enterprise zone within such county shall be terminated as an enhanced rural enterprise zone as of January 1 following the issuance of such list. If the county appears again on a subsequent list of eligible counties, the portion of the county within an enterprise zone shall be designated as an enhanced rural enterprise zone.
(4)The termination of an enhanced rural enterprise zone shall not restrict, curtail, terminate, or otherwise cut off any tax credits that were earned by any taxpayer based on transactions completed while a county was designated as an enhanced rural enterprise zone. In addition, the director of the Colorado office of economic development shall establish procedures for recognizing and allowing credits to taxpayers who have taken actions in reliance on agreements reached with enhanced rural enterprise zone administrators or local governments for long-term investments.
(5)If the termination of an enhanced rural enterprise zone would prevent a taxpayer from qualifying for tax benefits under this article 30 and the taxpayer can identify job creation or capital expansion activities that were planned before the director of the Colorado office of economic development issued the list of eligible counties and that would have otherwise entitled the taxpayer to claim tax benefits under section 39-30-105.1, the enterprise zone administrator and the taxpayer shall jointly certify detailed information about such planned activities. A taxpayer who files such certification with the taxpayer’s state income tax return may claim tax benefits otherwise actually earned up to the limits of such certified information for a period not to exceed the five tax years following the year in which the enhanced rural enterprise zone was terminated. It is the intent of this subsection (5) to permit taxpayers to claim only those tax benefits on which they demonstrably relied in making business planning decisions, and, except as specifically provided in this subsection (5), nothing in this subsection (5) may be construed to authorize any enterprise zone administrator to grant tax benefits that have been repealed by law or to grant tax benefits in excess of the limits established by law.
Section 39-30-103.2 — Enhanced rural enterprise zones - criteria - termination,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-39.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).