The bill creates an income tax credit for a limited number of years for employers doing business in Colorado who hire and retain new employees for a 12-month period and during that period make payments directly to a lender on behalf of each new employee for the new employee's student loan that he or she incurred while earning an approved degree. An employer who has multiple new employees may seek credits for each new employee. The bill requires the approved degree to be an associate or bachelor's degree that represents the completion of a course of study in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, or a vocational certificate related to industry, manufacturing, or information technology from a Colorado institution of higher education. The bill requires each new employee to be a Colorado resident, work full-time, and receive a base salary or hourly wages totaling less than $60,000 per year.
The bill sets up a process whereby the employer seeks preapproval of a credit through the Colorado office of economic development (office) and then allows the office to issue credit certificates after the employer has documented that the requirements of the credit have been met by the employer.
The bill specifies that the amount of the credit is calculated as 50% of the payments made directly by the employer to a new employee's lender, subject to a specified maximum per new employee and a specified maximum per employer, except that the per employer maximum may be waived by the Colorado economic development commission. The bill further limits the number of credits that the office may issue in each income tax year that the credit is available.