March 2024: Colorado Legislative Changes for Auto Dealers and Consumers

Auto dealers face a dynamic regulatory environment as the Colorado Legislative Session crosses its midpoint. The 2024 session has introduced nearly 600 bills with significant implications for the automotive industry. From environmental regulations to tax reforms, here’s our Colorado legislative updates for auto dealers and the important bills our auto dealers need to know.


Environmental Regulations and Electric Vehicles

Several bills have been introduced that propose stricter regulations on air quality, including banning oil and gas drilling permits in Colorado. CADA is actively engaged in discussions surrounding these bills, advocating for policies that balance environmental goals with the needs of our industry: 

  • SB24-159—Mod to Energy & Carbon Management Processes: This bill proposes a state-wide ban on oil and gas drilling permits after 2030. If enacted, it would cost the state billions of dollars annually in lost tax revenue and put over 100,000 Coloradans out of work. The Oil and gas Industry is actively combating this bill, and we anticipate it being defeated in committee. 
  • SB24-165– Air Quality Improvements: This bill initially had five parts, with two striking at transportation. In one, it seeks to undermine the rulemaking of the AQCC to stop short of a total internal combustion ban in 2035.  The AQCC, CADA, and the Administration supported a plan to decouple us from California in 2032.  This bill seeks to adopt California’s 2035 ban.  Additionally, the bill sought to revive the reviled Employee Trip Reduction Plan (ETRP), defeated in the AQCC and then twice in the legislature, and send it to the Colorado Department of Transportation for another bite at the apple.  Fortunately, ETRP and another provision on indirect emissions were dropped out of the bill following stakeholder meetings.  The California ban remains.  We are offering our objections to the bill to support the existing regulatory structure.


Tax Policy and the Legal Environment 

TABOR, taxes, and consumer protection measures remain a top priority for lawmakers. Here are some bills of interest:

  • HB24-1014 – Deceptive Trade Practice Significant Impact Standard: In a bill that has more impact on dealer attorneys than dealers, this bill removed a significant hurdle for trial lawyers trying to attach triple damages and attorneys fees to lawsuits against dealers.  It was a step towards allowing private attorneys to pick up the enforcement duties of the Colorado Attorney General.  This bill has been laid over (not killed) pending further negotiations.  In other words, it is stuck in a Senate Committee with no current path out.  Its eventual timing out – or killing – would likely represent CADA’s most significant victory last year.
  • Property Tax Commission: The property tax commission has been meeting since January to recommend a policy for the legislature to consider this year. The group voted to extend their completion timeline from March to April. Their unsatisfactory action – or inaction – will likely result in a ballot initiative sponsored by the business community this November to put a hard cap on property taxes.


Other Bills on Our Radar

Other Colorado legislative updates for auto dealers that you need to know:

  • HB24-1089—Vehicle Electronic Notifications: DMVs wanted to ease the burden of notifying consumers when their title applications had been approved, and their cars were ready for registration. This bill allowed for delivery by e-mail of what formerly came as a postcard in the US Postal Service. In the interest of a partnership with the county DMVs, CADA testified in support of this bill. It is anticipated to pass. 


Problematic Bill Defeated in Current Form

CADA was watching Senate Bill 24-036, which proposed new vehicle registration fees to fund the creation of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in Colorado’s most populous cities. CADA testified, offering improvements on this bill, even though our customers feel the impact and not our dealers.  Creating new infrastructure is a zero-sum game, which means removing vehicle infrastructure from its creation.

Earlier this week, this bill was postponed indefinitely (killed). This does not mean the legislation won’t resurface, but it would have to start over in the legislative process, with time now running short. Our understanding of the postponement is that the funding source/registration fees were a point of contention among elements of the state government.

About The Colorado Auto Dealers Association (CADA) 

The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) was established in 1933 by a group of dealers to challenge a federal excise tax, leading to its incorporation in 1938. As a trade association, CADA actively advocates on behalf of the auto industry, particularly Colorado auto dealers and the state’s driving public, tackling a range of legislative and regulatory complexities. 

We keep dealers informed through publications, Above the Fold, the Bulletin (see archives), and LinkedIn updates. Additionally, CADA focuses on education, helping dealers stay compliant and informed about new legislation and trends impacting the industry, especially after the legislative term concludes each May.


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