The 'Colorado Regional Tourism Act' includes a process by which one or more local governments may undertake a regional tourism project (project), create a regional tourism zone in which the project will be built, and create a regional tourism authority to use tax increment financing based on state sales tax revenue to finance eligible improvements related to the project. Currently, once a project has been approved, there is not a process to allow a local government to request and the Colorado economic development commission (commission) to approve a modification to the components of the project.
The bill allows a local government that is a participant in an approved project to apply to the commission to modify the project if the local government determines that a planned project component is no longer viable or that the new component will increase the number of out-of-state tourists visiting the project or net new revenue generated by the project.
A local government must submit an application to modify an approved project to the Colorado office of economic development (office) for initial review prior to the commencement of substantial work on the project component that will be replaced. The local government is required to include certain information in the proposal but is not required to provide any information that was in the original application and that remains unchanged. The application must include an economic analysis that details whether the modified project meets the requirements specified in law and in guidelines established by the office.
The office is required to review and forward an application for a modification of a project to the commission with a recommendation that the commission approve the application, deny it, or approve it with conditions. The commission is required approve the application unless the modified project no longer meets the criteria for a project established in law. The commission may amend its original award, including the percentage of sales tax increment that is awarded and the total cumulative dollar amount to be awarded if specifically impacted by the new component, but may not increase the total cumulative dollar amount of the award beyond that which was previously awarded.
If the application for a modification is approved, the commission is required to modify the resolution it adopted when it approved the original application as necessary to conform the resolution to the modified project.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)