Currently, an income tax refund voluntary contribution program, commonly referred to as a 'tax checkoff program' (program), appears on the state individual income tax return form (form) until the program is repealed pursuant to the sunset clause in its organic statute or until the program fails to receive a minimum amount of contributions in any year after the 2-year 'ramp-up period' immediately following the program's creation. The number of programs that appear on the form each year is capped at 20 and preference for placement on the form is given to returning programs. If more programs exist than the form can accommodate, the excess programs are placed in a queue until a slot on the form becomes available.
Section 2 of the bill revises the tax checkoff process so that a program is allowed to appear on the form for 5 consecutive years and then take a minimum 5-year hiatus, at which point the program is again eligible to be added (via the general assembly acting by bill) to the form for another 5-year period and then removed for another 5-year hiatus, etc. This cycle may repeat indefinitely. Because they are currently exempt from the mandatory sunset process for checkoffs, the bill exempts the homeless prevention activities program fund voluntary contribution and the western slope military veterans' cemetery voluntary contribution from the hiatus requirement.
Because every program will spend a dedicated amount of time on the form, the bill removes the requirement that every program receive a minimum amount of contributions to retain its place on the form. The bill retains the 20-program limit for the form and the queuing process.
Section 2 also specifies that the amount that any taxpayer is permitted to donate annually through the program is capped at the amount of the taxpayer's refund for that year.
For the nongame and endangered wildlife cash fund voluntary contribution program, which is currently scheduled to sunset in January 2018, sections 3 and 4 extend its placement on the form for 2 years before the program cycles off for 5 years pursuant to the above-described process.
Pursuant to the new rotation schedule, sections 5 through 29 specify the 5-year periods in which programs currently on the form will appear on the form and the years in which any renewed fund is eligible to return to the form following the mandatory hiatus.
Section 31 removes various laws pertaining to the following tax checkoff funds, which laws are obsolete as these funds do not currently appear on the form:
- Adult stem cells cure fund voluntary contribution;
- Colorado 2-1-1 first call for help fund voluntary contribution;
- Goodwill Industries fund voluntary contribution; and
- Families in Action for Mental Health fund voluntary contribution.
Section 30 makes a conforming amendment to account for the repeal of the adult stem cells cure fund tax checkoff provisions.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)