Dems React Angrily to “Bull Semen Tax Break” Reinstatement

This morning, the much-anticipated bill to reinstate a tax exemption repealed last year on some agricultural products, House Bill 1005, passed the House Appropriations Committee on a party-line vote. Democrats are angry about several process items: millions of dollars in additional shortfalls created by the legislation, the rejection of a Democrat-sponsored “pay as you go” amendment that would have required offsetting cuts to be found, and that the bill is being considered removed from the budget process.

Full release after the jump. Says Minority Leader Sal Pace, “I am deeply disturbed that they saw fit to bring this bill forward before we consider the budget.  They have no plan for how to pay for this, or the hundreds of millions that they’re proposing in giveaways and special interest tax breaks.  If this is a hint at things to come, then the kids and working families of Colorado had better watch out because Republicans seem to care more about helping special interests.”

House Democrats Outraged at Fiscal Irresponsibility of House Republicans

(Denver) – House Democrats today were outraged at House Republicans’ move to reinstate the tax exemption for bull semen.  House Bill 11-1005 passed on a party line vote in the House Appropriations Committee this morning. Traditionally, bills with General Fund impacts are not considered by the Appropriations Committee until after the budget, to determine whether there’s enough money to pay for the bill.

The bill will add $1.5 million to an already significant budget shortfall for this year’s budget and $3.5 million next year.  This is one of more than 20 Republican bills reinstating or creating new tax breaks for corporations and special interests, all of which will result in more money that will have to be cut from education and health care for Colorado families later on.

In total, the GOP is bringing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of credits, exemptions, and giveaways for corporations, none of which have identified funding sources.  Republicans voted party line to defeat common-sense pay-go rules on the House floor just more than a week ago to ensure lawmakers identify replacement revenue or cuts for new programs, credits and exemptions before they pass. Had the pay-go rules been in effect, this bill could not have passed without identifying a funding source.

“Every Republican voted against our common sense pay-as-you go amendment.  And now I see why: it’s so they could continue handing out taxpayer dollars to corporations without any accountability whatsoever,” said Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D-Boulder).  “To provide giveaways of taxpayer dollars for bull-semen at a time when we’re facing hundreds of millions of dollars in potential cuts to schools is reckless, and it is wrong.  How are we going to pay for this?  The answer is this: we’re not.  We’ll be forced to take more money out of our children’s classrooms to pay for this tax exemption for bull semen.”

“The Agriculture committee members voted this out of committee on the assumption that Appropriations would find a way to pay for it.  One of our members even tried to bring a pay-go amendment.  But in passing the bill through the Appropriations Committee, Republicans didn’t let on to how they’re going pay for this,” said House Democratic Leader Sal Pace (D-Pueblo).  “I am deeply disturbed that they saw fit to bring this bill forward before we consider the budget.  They have no plan for how to pay for this, or the hundreds of millions that they’re proposing in giveaways and special interest tax breaks.  If this is a hint at things to come, then the kids and working families of Colorado had better watch out because Republicans seem to care more about helping special interests.”  

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33 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. droll says:

    Can you imagine the commercials? Christ. Jizz over kidz. Awesome, GOP. Just awesome.

  2. Gorky PulviczekG Pulviczek says:

    a bi-partisan kumbaya moment.

  3. ColoRabble says:

    “Full release after the jump.”

  4. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    And why is it the party of “free enterprise” is supporting rent seeking by industries?

    I’d like to see a bill to repeal all of the remaining exemptions. A second to include services under sales tax. And a third to require the Governor to have a competent Department of Revenue. (Yes, I know I’m dreaming on that last one…)

  5. (By the way? I’ve worked on ranches. Bull semen is NOT THAT EXPENSIVE. There’s no tax break needed. Either bull owners can lower their prices a bit more or more ranchers can keep their own bulls if it’s such a burden.)

    • JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

      Not even for really incredible Gattaca bull semen?

      • But we don’t give tax breaks on Lexuses because otherwise farmers might not be able to afford them. If you just need to impregnate your cattle with a reasonably healthy, fertile, and conformationally accurate bull’s semen, it’s already not cost prohibitive in terms of securing the food supply, which is the typical justification for agricultural subsidies.

        • BlueCat says:

          You sure know a lot about bull semen! 🙂

          • If you want to know what crazy is, work for someone who’s spent six figures buying and campaigning a fancy stallion only to discover he’s partially infertile.

            • BlueCat says:

              a really good time?

              • He’d have been happier getting woolly in a field as a gelding if you ask me. Whenever I tried to leave his stall after wrapping his legs and feeding him, he’d grab my sleeve and give me this sad puppy look.

                Stallions don’t have very nice lives. Most of them never get to roughhouse with another horse after they’re a year or two old. They get to breed, but it’s mostly artificial, and they don’t tend to get loved on by humans as much either, because they can get mean if they realize they’re bigger than you.

                Nicest stallion I’ve ever met was owned by someone who ignored all the “best practices” of stallion ownership and let him live with geldings and be ridden by children. He was so friendly nobody believed he was intact without checking.

  6. MADCO says:

    Ie, if it’s a cost of the business, doesn’t that make it a either a wholesale transction or deductible expense anyway?

    R lawmakers all about hand jobs.

    • allyncooper says:

      Is this sales tax that the Acme Bull Semen Co.  is presently required to add on when invoicing ranchers?

      That would make it a retail transaction since the ranchers are end users not reselling it. It’s a Cost of Goods deductible as such.  

    • Because it isn’t resold.  (At least we hope not…)

      It’s not an expended good, either – more like a consumable that goes in to the production of the rancher’s product, more beef.  (Keep your minds out of the gutter, if at all possible…)

      All things considered, given the fact that removing tax deductions is permissible and choosing some that are “least harmful” to eliminate, the Dems chose wisely and the Republicans are looking foolish.

  7. bobhues says:

    Could we offset the bull semen tax credit by increasing the tobacco tax on the cigarettes that the bulls smoke when they are finished?

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