July 22, 2019

Archives for January 15, 2014

Colorado Supreme Court: Reasonably Ascertainable Value of Accrued Vacation and Sick Leave May Be Divided in Dissolution of Marriage

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Marriage of Cardona and Castro on Monday, January 13, 2014.

Disposition of Property—Equitable Distribution of Marital Property—Accrued Leave.

The Supreme Court considered whether accrued vacation and sick leave may be considered marital property subject to division under CRS § 14-10-113 of the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act (UDMA). The Court held that where a spouse has an enforceable right to be paid for accrued vacation or sick leave, such accrued leave earned during the marriage is marital property. Where the value of such leave at the time of dissolution can be reasonably ascertained, it is subject to equitable division under the UDMA. However, where the value of such leave at the time of dissolution cannot be reasonably ascertained, the court should consider the employee spouse’s right to such leave as an economic circumstance of the parties when equitably dividing the marital estate.

In this case, the Court concluded that the trial court erred in considering the value of the spouse’s accrued leave as part of the marital estate because no competent evidence was presented to establish that the spouse had an enforceable right to payment for such leave. The Court therefore affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment on narrower grounds.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Laches Defense Does Not Conflict with Statute of Limitations

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Hickerson v. Vessels on Monday, January 13, 2014.

Statute of Limitations—CRS § 13-80-103.5(1)(a)—Partial Payment Doctrine—Laches.

The Supreme Court held that the separation of powers doctrine does not bar application of the defense of laches to a debt collection action filed within the original or restarted six-year statute of limitations period. Laches does not conflict with the plain meaning of the relevant statute of limitations, nor does it conflict with the partial payment doctrine, which is a creature of Colorado common law. Since early statehood, Colorado case law has recognized the application of equitable remedies to legal claims. Accordingly, the Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and remanded the case for consideration of issues it did not reach.

Summary and full case available here.

HB 14-1001: Establishing Income Tax Credit for Property Owners Owing Property Tax for Destroyed Property

On January 8, 2014, Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sen. Jeanne Nicholson introduced HB 14-1001, Concerning the Creation of an Income Tax Credit for a Taxpayer that Owes Property Tax on Property that Has Been Destroyed by a Natural Cause. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Beginning in the 2013 income tax year, the bill establishes an income tax credit for a taxpayer that owns real or business personal property that was destroyed by a natural cause as determined by the county assessor of the county in which the property is located. The amount of the credit is an amount equal to the taxpayer’s property tax liability for the destroyed property in the property tax year in which the natural cause occurred. A taxpayer is allowed to claim the credit only for the income tax year during which the property was destroyed.

The bill requires the executive director of the department of revenue (department) to create a certification form to be used by a county assessor to certify to the department, at the request of a taxpayer, that the taxpayer’s property was destroyed by a natural cause and that the taxpayer is entitled to an income tax credit. The bill specifies the information that shall be included on the certification form for real or business personal property that was destroyed by a natural cause. The department is required to make the certification form available to taxpayers and county assessors on the department’s web site and by any other means deemed necessary by the department.

Before claiming an income tax credit, the bill requires a taxpayer to request that the county assessor in the county in which the destroyed property is located complete and sign a certification form for the destroyed property that is the basis of the income tax credit. The county assessor is required to complete and sign the certification form upon such request and the taxpayer is required to submit the completed and signed certification form to the department with the taxpayer’s income tax return.

The amount of the credit allowed that exceeds the taxpayer’s income taxes due is refunded to the taxpayer. The bill is assigned to the Finance Committee.

HB 14-1002: Creating a Natural Disaster Grant Fund to Repair Water Infrastructure

On January 8, 2014, Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Matt Jones introduced HB 14-1002: Concerning the Establishment of a Grant Program Under the “Colorado Water Quality Control Act” to Repair Water Infrastructure Impacted by a Natural Disaster, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an AppropriationThis summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill creates a natural disaster grant fund and directs the division of administration in the department of public health and environment (division) to award grants from the fund to local governments, including local governments accepting grants on behalf of and in coordination with not-for-profit public water systems, under rules promulgated by the water quality control commission for the planning, design, construction, improvement, renovation, or reconstruction of domestic wastewater treatment works and public drinking water systems that have been impacted, damaged, or destroyed in connection with a natural disaster. The division may only award grants to be used in counties for which the governor has declared a disaster emergency by executive order or proclamation under section 24-33.5-704, C.R.S.

The division is required to award grants for the 2014–15 fiscal year and, as needed, for the 2015–16 fiscal year, to eligible local governments that have domestic wastewater treatment works, public drinking water systems, or on-site wastewater treatment systems impacted, damaged, or destroyed in connection with the flood of September 2013.

The bill appropriates $12,000,000 to the fund. On Sept. 1, 2015, the state treasurer is directed to transfer any unencumbered moneys remaining in the fund to the nutrients grant fund. The bill is assigned to the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee.

HB 14-1005: Clarifying Requirements to Change Point of Water Diversion

On January 8, 2014, Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg and Sen. Kevin Lundberg introduced HB 14-1005: Concerning Clarification of the Requirements Applicable to a Change of Point of Water Diversion. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

A statute enacted in 1881 allows the owner of a ditch to relocate the ditch’s headgate if changes to the stream prevent the headgate from effectuating the diversion. The “Water Right Determination and Administration Act of 1969” (1969 act) requires changes of water rights, including changes of points of diversion, to be adjudicated. The 1969 act does not exempt changes authorized by the 1881 act. The bill clarifies that a water right owner may relocate a ditch headgate pursuant to the 1881 act without filing for a change of water right under the 1969 act if the relocation does not physically interfere with the complete use or enjoyment of other water rights. The bill is assigned to the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee.

HB 14-1012: Replacing Colorado Innovation Investment Tax Credit with Advanced Industry Investment Tax Credit

On January 8, 2014, Rep. Max Tyler and Sen. John Kefalas introduced HB 14-1012: Concerning Income Tax Credits that Promote Investment in Colorado Advanced Industries. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill repeals the Colorado innovation investment tax credit and replaces it with the advanced industry investment tax credit (tax credit). The tax credit is available for a qualified investor who, prior to January 1, 2018, makes an equity investment in a qualified small business from the advanced industries, which consists of advanced manufacturing, aerospace, bioscience, electronics, energy and natural resources, information technology, and infrastructure engineering. The tax credit is equal to 25 percent of the investment or, if the qualified business is located in a rural area or economically distressed area, it is equal to 30 percent. The maximum amount of credit for a single tax credit is $50,000, and the maximum of all tax credits allowed for a calendar year is $2 million; except that unused tax credits from 2014 may roll over into 2015. A tax credit may not be refunded, but it may be carried forward for five tax years.

The Colorado office of economic development (office) determines the eligibility for the tax credit and issues nontransferable tax credit certificates as evidence of eligibility and the amount of the tax credit. To claim the tax credit, a taxpayer must submit a copy of the tax credit certificate. The office and the department of revenue are required to share information related to the tax credit. In 2017, the office is required to submit to legislative committees a report that includes information about the tax credits issued and the economic benefits from the related qualified investments.

The state treasurer is required to transfer moneys from the repealed innovation investment tax credit cash fund to the newly created advanced industry investment tax credit cash fund. The general assembly shall appropriate any moneys in the fund to the office for the direct and indirect costs associated with the authorizing tax credits. The bill is assigned to the Finance and Appropriations Committees.