Taxes, housing top Hickenlooper’s State of State address |

Taxes, housing top Hickenlooper’s State of State address

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

DENVER — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper called on lawmakers to find a way to avoid constitutionally mandated taxpayer refunds, stressing the urgency of investment in schools and roads.

Hickenlooper wants to reclassify about $750 million in fees paid by hospital patients, a maneuver that would allow Colorado to avoid taxpayer refunds for several years.

Also in his annual address, Hickenlooper called for a loosening of liability rules on builders and developers.

Hickenlooper says the change will lead to more affordable housing. Hickenlooper is also calling for extending a tax credit for those building low-income housing.

The so-called “construction defects” legislation has stalled in the Legislature in recent years. Some Democrats say it could hurt consumers and probably wouldn’t prompt developers to build cheaper condos.

Hickenlooper has supported the change, but this year is the first time he has asked lawmakers to pass it in his annual State of the State address.

Hickenlooper says that rents and house prices have “skyrocketed.

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