ANTI-JOBS TAX POLICY CAUSES FRONTIER HQ
TO FLY AWAY FROM COLORADO
Hickenlooper Was Warned By Republic CEO That Taxes Could Cause Departure
(DENVER) – Needless and uncompetitive taxes were a key factor in causing Republic Airways to pull Frontier Airlines' corporate headquarters and quality jobs out of Colorado – despite a clear warning to Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis said today.
In published reports this summer, Republic Airlines officials cited taxes as a disincentive to locating an aircraft maintenance facility in Denver. Mayor Hickenlooper's hostile tax climate likely also played a role in the loss of the headquarters.
Republic CEO Bryan Bedford was quoted as saying, "In this industry, you can't do work where you are economically disincentivized."
"There was no subtlety in the message from the Republic CEO," McInnis said. "He sounded the alarm to the Mayor that taxes were a factor in causing the company to look elsewhere. The taxes stayed in place, and the headquarters and jobs took off for a sunnier tax climate."
McInnis stressed that while there are a number of factors leading Republic to depart, jobs-focused leadership requires an understanding of how unnecessary taxes make cities and states less competitive.
He noted that the sales and use tax on aircraft and parts isn't a new concern, with airlines taking delivery of aircraft in parts elsewhere to avoid the needless tax. The Mayor's tax on software—which hits companies with central reservations systems -- was also a key factor in the departure of the headquarters.
McInnis said the Mayor's anti-competitive taxes mirror the approach taken by Gov. Bill Ritter, who has raised $1 billion in taxes and fees – and pushed punitive regulations -- that have driven jobs to other states.
"It's clear that the Mayor has the same approach as the Governor who passed the baton to him this week," he said. "Create an excessive tax climate to grow government regardless of the consequences to jobs and the families who are counting on them – even after a clear warning from a CEO who controls those jobs. Colorado can't afford this 'head in the sand' approach to jobs and the economy."
McInnis said, in contrast to the Hickenlooper-Ritter anti-jobs tax policies, as Governor he will take a pro-active and personal approach to job-creation and economic development. Earlier this week, McInnis told a group of business leaders that his first trip outside of Colorado as Governor would be to the Pentagon to personally show top brass that the state is once again welcoming defense and defense-related jobs. Legislation passed last year banning the expansion of Fort Carson training facilities damaged the state's reputation as one that welcomes jobs in the defense sector.
"When you're the CEO of a business, a city, or the entire state, the buck stops on your desk," McInnis said. "This may be news to Bill Ritter and Mayor Hickenlooper, but more taxes does not mean more jobs."
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