Loveland City Council unanimously voted to approve waiving $150,000 total in city fees and taxes for two companies looking to expand in the city.
City permit fees, use taxes and capital expansion fees totaling up to $75,000 for each company would be waived, the Loveland Reporter-Herald reported.
The tax breaks for both Complete Solution Robotics and Intellivation LLC separately received unanimous approval from the city council, according to the Reporter-Herald. The city council still needs to vote on the plans again before they’re official.
Complete Solution Robotics, which has been located in Loveland since 2010, wants to expand and build a 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the city.
Intellivation LLC, which manufactures coatings for products, plans on relocating from Fort Collins and building a 21,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that’s estimated to cost $3.5 million to build.
The Loveland Chamber of Commerce endorsed both incentive agreements.
John Mozena, president of the Center for Economic Accountability, a national nonprofit that works to improve state and local economic development policies, said “the idea that there’s some sort of powerful vetting process behind these deals is silly.”
“If Loveland’s politicians and bureaucrats were truly capable of determining what robotics and high-tech manufacturing companies were going to be successful in their highly competitive industries, they’d be running billion-dollar hedge funds on Wall Street or venture capital firms in Silicon Valley and not handing out $75,000 tax abatements in Colorado,” he said.
Mozena also noted that the companies’ expansion plans don’t appear to hinge on incentives that the city offers.
“If these companies have viable business plans, then there’s an entire banking industry that exists to loan them the money they need to expand. If they don’t, then Loveland’s taxpayers shouldn’t be investing in them,” he said. “This looks like the standard situation where a city’s elected officials cut deals that don’t actually change what a company was likely going to do anyway, but are big enough to get the politicians into the press releases and ribbon cutting photos.”
“Meanwhile, that’s tax revenues that now can’t be used for police, fire/rescue, utilities, parks and recreation or other city services on which everyone else in Loveland depends,” Mozena added.