Gov. Jared Polis on Wednesday issued an executive order to provide up to $2,000 in temporary tax relief to Colorado bars and restaurants for sales made in November, with the expectation that the relief will be extended by the Colorado General Assembly when it convenes for a special legislative session next week.
“Colorado’s restaurants, bars, and food trucks are among the small businesses that have been hit the hardest by the pandemic,” Polis said in a statement. “We all want to keep these businesses open as a vital part of our lives and culture, which is why I’m proud to be working with a group of bipartisan legislators to provide much needed tax relief.”
Polis’ order directs the state Department of Revenue to defer the 2.9% monthly sales tax due to the state up to $70,000 — $2,030 — in revenue for qualifying bars, restaurants and food trucks. In its upcoming special session, the state legislature is widely expected to pass legislation to forgive the deferred tax payments and extend the relief by several months.
Bars and restaurants that operate more than one location may only claim the deduction for up to five places of business, the order says.
“Many of our restaurants and bars are struggling to survive and most cannot offer outdoor seating during winter,” state Rep. Kevin Van Winkle, a Republican from Highlands Ranch, said in a statement. “We should provide tax relief and allow them to keep their state sales tax collections, in addition to providing other assistance, as a lifeline to help them get through winter.”