CACI Chief Operating Officer
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Improving outreach to taxpayers and modernizing its computer system are top objectives for the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR), according to three top DOR officials who addressed the CACI Tax Council last Friday.
The three officials were Barbara Brohl, the newly appointed Executive Director; Heather Copp, Deputy Executive Director; and Mark Couch, Legislative Liaison.
Brohl and Copp discussed the DOR’s efforts to improve outreach to taxpayers through media and other communications strategies. Some of those strategies include DOR webinars, a taxation blog and providing information that can used by such organizations as CACI in its communications to CACI members.
Brohl also discussed updates to the DOR’s Colorado Integrated Tax Architecture (CITA) system, which provides for an integrated tax system. The DOR is trying to improve the information included in tax notices and reduce the number of notices issued to taxpayers. Brohl also discussed the significant steps being made with the Revenue Online system, which allows more services to be provided through online forms such as:
The three DOR officials described other changes, including:
Brohl also said that, although the DOR will advocate very little legislation during the 2012 legislative session, the Department will be primarily working on two issues: funding for the its Division of Motor Vehicles and a severance-tax budget proposal.
Brohl also updated the Council on the status of sales-and use-tax refunds. She said that there were six cases on hold that were pending the implementation of HB-1265 (Regarding Sales & Use Tax Refunds) and all those cases have received refunds except one thus far.
Finally, Brohl and Coop discussed Governor John Hickenlooper’s statewide economic development plan, the Colorado Blueprint and how the DOR is involved in the implementation of the strategy.
Colorado Blueprint working group that have been established, based on the Blueprint’s business plan. In creating the Blueprint, eight regional meetings with citizens were held across the state to advance economic development ideas.
In six of those meetings, the problem of tax collection and remittance among multiple jurisdictions was raised by participants. To address those concerns, the DOR is heading up a Blueprint Working Group to identify solutions to streamline tax collection and remittance in Colorado. CACI, the Colorado Municipal League, Colorado Counties, Inc., the Colorado Retail Council and other interest groups serve on the Working Group, which will meet several times this year and next to develop those solutions.
Council members in attendance included representatives from the following:
Commissioner Jim Riesberg, the guest speaker Tuesday at CACI’s Health Care Council meeting, discussed the functions and funding mechanisms that support the operations of the Insurance Division and updated Council members on the status of the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange.
In June, Governor John Hickenlooper appointed Riesberg, a former state representative from Greeley, to head the Division, which is housed in the Colorado Department of Regulatory Affairs (DORA).
Riesberg said that he does not anticipate many changes to the Division’s administrative or regulatory functions. He discussed the Division’s online services that allow companies to monitor rate changes. In regard to proposed legislation for the upcoming 2012 session, Riesberg said that five DORA bills are awaiting final approval by the Governor.
Providing an update on the Colorado Health Benefit Exchange, Riesberg disclosed that the Board’s working group has narrowed the search for the chief executive officer to two candidates and that the selection of the finalist will be made soon. The final candidate will also require approval by the Legislative Health Benefit Exchange Implementation Review Committee. Riesberg serves as a non-voting ex-officio member of the Exchange Board.
When asked about the Exchange Board’s Federal “Level One” grant application, which was rejected in September by some members of the Legislative Health Benefit Exchange Implementation Review Committee, and the progress of preparing a new grant proposal, Riesberg said that he believed the process for preparing the new grant application is moving along and believes the Exchange Board will be able to meet the December 30th deadline for submission of the grant proposal.
Riesberg also said that there are funds remaining from the original Federal grant awarded this past January to support the Exchange, and that the Board planned to proceed with the hiring of a chief executive officer based on the anticipated award in 2012 of the new federal grant.
Riesberg also said that he believes that memorandums-of-understanding (MOUs) will be need to be established between the Exchange and such state governmental entities as the Division of Insurance and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as well as non-governmental organizations like the Colorado Health Institute in order to implement the Exchange’s goals.
Riesberg believes that the Exchange will provide more choice to consumers for their health-care insurance needs but that consumers will need to be educated on their options, which the Division plans to provide. In this vein, Riesberg recently wrote a guest commentary for The Denver Post, entitled, “Health insurance and the changes you should know about”
When asked about the cost for establishing an information technology infrastructure to operate the Exchange, Riesberg said it is too early to determine the actual cost but that there are companies that can provide those IT services.
Asked about the impact on consumers and health-care providers if the 2010 Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, Riesberg said that health-insurance companies may have to write policies that they wouldn’t have otherwise written, which would likely increase costs for consumers.
Riesberg also said that such a decision could require Cover Colorado to cover hundreds of thousands more individuals with pre-existing conditions who need health-care coverage. Finding funds to cover those costs would be extremely challenging, he said.
Council members in attendance include representatives from the following:
|CACI Home Page | About CACI | Join CACI | Contact Us|
|To unsubscribe, please click here.|