The act creates new and modifies existing state income tax credits to maximize federal government funding for taxpayers engaged in semiconductor and advanced manufacturing in Colorado. Specifically, the act creates a refund mechanism, available from fiscal year 2023-24 through fiscal year 2028-29, that allows a taxpayer engaged in semiconductor or advanced manufacturing to apply for conditional approval of one or more types of income tax credits based on a specified project in the state and includes the maximum amount of credit for which the taxpayer may claim a refund of 80% (refund mechanism). The income tax credit types that may be the basis for such a refund are:
- The 3 enterprise zone credits for qualified investments, business facility employees, and expenditures for research and experimental activities;
- The Colorado job growth incentive income tax credit; and
- 3 semiconductor manufacturing zone (CHIPS zone) credits for qualified investments, business facility employees, and expenditures for research and experimental activities, the zones for which are created in the act.
Semiconductor and advanced manufacturers must apply to the Colorado economic development commission (commission) for a refund certificate approving their project and setting the maximum amount of income tax credits that the manufacturer may claim as the basis for a refund in connection with the project. In reviewing applications, the commission must prioritize taxpayers engaged in semiconductor or advanced manufacturing that have received or applied to receive matching funds under the "American Rescue Plan Act of 2021", the "Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act of 2022" (CHIPS Act), or other similar federal legislation.
The CHIPS zone tax credit program created by the act is similar to the enterprise zone tax credit program in that a local government may propose an area for designation as a CHIPS zone, which designation may promote the local economy through incentivizing businesses to locate in the area. A taxpayer located in a CHIPS zone may be eligible to claim an income tax credit under existing enterprise zone statutes for the taxpayer's qualified investments, business facility employees, or research and experimental activities. However, the tax benefits of CHIPS zones are only available to taxpayers engaged in semiconductor manufacturing, as that term is defined under the CHIPS Act.
All CHIPS zone tax credits must be precertified by the CHIPS zone administrator. All such credits may be used to offset a taxpayer's income tax liability or carried forward for a period not to exceed 12 years. Or, if the credits are included in a refund certificate approved by the commission pursuant to the refund mechanism, they may be used to claim a refund of 80% of the total amount of the credits.
CHIPS zones may be modified or terminated at the discretion of the commission beginning in income tax year 2023 and through income tax year 2040; however, all CHIPS zones will terminate as a matter of law on December 31, 2040.
The act creates, within the office of economic development (office), a temporary task force comprised of state legislators, representatives of the office, and citizens with industry experience to study the effectiveness of financial incentives and other resources intended to attract and promote the development of advanced manufacturing and other science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) companies in Colorado during the 2023 legislative interim. The task force is required to report its findings to the general assembly and the governor by a specified date.
The act amends the law regarding confidential taxpayer information to allow the department of revenue to disclose pertinent information to the office as necessary to administer the CHIPS zone tax credit program. For th 2023-24 state fiscal year, $300,1098 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of revenue and $117,583 is appropriated from the general fund to the office of the governor for implementation of the act.
APPROVED by Governor May 20, 2023
EFFECTIVE May 20, 2023
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)