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DENVER-- Gov. Bill Ritter signed nine pieces of controversial legislation into law Wednesday that suspended or eliminated tax breaks for businesses. Ritter is attempting to balance a state budget billions in the red due to recession-era declining tax revenues. The bills he signed Wednesday drew sharp protest from Republican lawmakers who said they were bad for business and recommended additional program cuts on top of the historic cuts already made in the last year. The tax bills will generate $15.6 million in revenue this fiscal year and $132.6 million next fiscal year.
In the face of the state's mounting budget crisis, state Rep. Joel Judd plans to introduce two bills next month that would dissolve tax-free business "enterprise zones" and that would levy taxes on services across the state. "The question is: Do we provide education for children or do we get to go to a salon without paying a tax?" he told the Independent.