DENVER (AP) — Denver officials were meeting with technology executives on Wednesday to discuss a city tax on software services that is leading some businesses to consider relocating.
Denver economic development chief Paul Washington and Deputy Mayor and chief financial officer Cary Kennedy are scheduled to attend the meeting, held the day after executives from more than 30 companies met with city officials to push for change, The Denver Post reported.
That meeting, organized by the Colorado Technology Association, grew tense as Denver Treasurer Steve Ellington said that such a change would probably require an exemption approved by the Denver City Council.
“The city’s main revenue source is its sales and use tax and so we have to be very judicious about how we go about making changes to existing code,” Ellington said.
James Barry, a vice president with Cloud Elements, said his company would be better off moving to Centennial even though the firm just moved 14 employees to Denver.
“We just signed one large contract and have two others that are probably going to sign,” Barry said. “We’re going to move out of Industry as fast as we can because it’s going to be cheaper for us to move and get space in Centennial again than it is to have space here.”
Mike Biselli, who is building a health-tech campus on 12.5 acres in Denver, said prospective tenant companies are shying away from the project because of the tax.
“I’m telling you right now, we’re losing companies,” he said. “Please take off the government hat and the government trap of saying ‘We’re going to move slow and it’s going to take a long time’ and think about how quickly we can solve this to continue to build on the momentum that all of these entrepreneurs in this room are building right now to make Denver one of the leaders in this country.”
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