Colorado Adopts New Legislation Limiting the Use of TIF on Agricultural Land

The Colorado Governor signed House Bill 1107 into law on April 14, 2010, limiting the inclusion of agricultural land in urban renewal areas.  Generally, under the Colorado Urban Renewal Law, a local governing body can designate a slum or a blighted area as an urban renewal area.  Upon such a designation, an urban renewal authority can pledge incremental real estate taxes and sales taxes generated within the urban renewal area to development projects for up to 25 years. 

House Bill 10-1107 amends the Urban Renewal Law by providing that land classified as agricultural at any time during the 5-year period prior to the date of adoption or modification of an urban renewal plan may not be included in an urban renewal area unless any of the following is true:

  • The area is a brownfield site;
  • At the time of the designation of the urban renewal area, at least 50% of the area is blighted and at least 67% of the area’s perimeter is contiguous to urban development;
  • It is within a municipality and has been completely surrounded by urban development for at least 3 years;
  • All taxing bodies governing the proposed urban renewal area agree to include the agricultural land; or
  • The agricultural land was included in an approved urban renewal plan prior to June 1, 2010.

In addition, to encourage industrial development between June 1, 2010 and May 31, 2020, if agricultural land is contiguous to an existing urban renewal area, both the agricultural land and the contiguous portion of the urban renewal area are owned by the same person, and the agricultural land will be developed for industrial projects that create manufacturing jobs, the agricultural land can be included in the urban renewal area.

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