January 29, 2021
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – On Tuesday, January 26, the Colorado Springs City Council unanimously approved the approval of December’s proposed sales tax relief program for local restaurants in its regular working session. This joint effort by the City of Colorado Springs and El Paso County aims to give a much-needed boost to restaurants that have seen sales declining due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that businesses are reopening and COVID restrictions are gradually easing, now is the time to offer as much support as possible to local restaurants in conjunction with the state’s 5-star program.
The program is limited to the General Fund Tax portion for each organization (2% for the city and 1% for the county). The county version of the program was also approved in December. The city council’s approval removes the final hurdle for the full program to go live via https://admin.elpasoco.com/financial-services/sales-and-use-tax/ (link is external).
“We know our restaurants have seen some of the most dramatic effects of the COVID-19 crisis and we felt it was important to provide support,” said Mayor John Suthers. “We know a $ 1,400 monthly sales tax break isn’t the complete solution, but we hope it will help support these important local businesses on their way to vaccine and return to normal.”
“Most of our local restaurant owners have worked hard to keep their customers, employees and families safe,” said Mark Waller, chairman of the El Paso Board of County Commissioner. “It is frustrating that the state is becoming operational and we must all do what we can to help. We look forward to working with the City of Colorado Springs and every other community to offer tax breaks to these companies.”
Applicants only need to apply once for the city and county tax relief program. As the city and county work together on this program, each organization’s plan has some similarities and differences.
Both programs have the same threshold for participation. To qualify for the program, restaurants in the aid program must have suffered a loss of more than 5% from the third quarter of 2019 through the third quarter of 2020. The maximum discount is $ 1,400 per month (or sales tax on up to $ 70,000 in sales).
However, the programs cover different revenue months. The city’s program offers refunds based on taxes paid on sales from November 2020, December 2020, January 2021, and February 2021. The county’s program offers refunds from July 2020 through February 2021.