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Commentary and Analysis Regarding Colorado Law

USS Colorado

USS CO 2

Anton Dworak volunteered his services to help with the formation of the USS Colorado (SSN 788) Commissioning Committee.  The USS Colorado is the Navy’s newest Virginia Class attack Submarine.  The committee supports the crew and families of the submarine and educates the public about the role of the US Navy.  In recognition of his contribution, Mr. Dworak was named an honorary “plankowner” (part of the first crew) and received special recognition in the commissioning ceremony program.

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Creating a Condo Association in a Commercial Setting

Condos

If you own a commercial building and are looking to get the most value out of your investment, one option to consider is creating a commercial condominium association.  This article will explore some of the benefits of commercial condos, and provide a brief overview of the process to create a condo association.  A condominium is a form of ownership of real property within a common interest community where portions of the real estate are designated for separate ownership, and the remainder is designated for common ownership. Colorado permits this form of ownership pursuant to the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act, C.R.S. § 38-33.3-101 et seq. (“CCIOA”). According to CCIOA, no zoning ordinance, or other real estate use law or regulation may impose any requirement upon a condominium which it would not impose upon a physically identical development under a different form of ownership.  In other words, merely converting the ownership of the real estate to a condominium should not require additional governmental approvals or intervention.

In a commercial context, such as an office or industrial building, this form of ownership can create flexibility and value for an owner by creating individual saleable assets (units). Creating condos allows a building owner to avoid having to sell the property as a whole, and/or avoid going through a costly and time-consuming subdivision process to subdivide the land.  Additionally, the owner (called the “declarant”) has complete control over the condo process and result; including the control to define the specific offices, buildings, floors, and common areas, and control to determine the terms of the association and the management. Once the project is finalized, the declarant even has the control and flexibility to sell off some of the units, and retain ownership of others. Condos also offer an attractive form of ownership for potential buyers. Each unit owner becomes an owner in the association, allowing for the right to vote on important management issues, and the sharing of common expenses – typically determined by the square footage of a unit in relation to the building as a whole.  Potential buyers may appreciate that the common elements, such as structural building components, landscaping, and parking areas are all maintained by the association.  Business owners may also recognize that when they purchase a condo they are building equity in their business, rather than throwing money away for rent.

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Special District Association (SDA) Conference, 2018

Keystone

Adele Reester and Cathy Tallerico will both be presenting at this year's Special District Association (SDA) Conference in September, which will be held in Keystone. They will be speaking on the constitutional and statutory requirements affecting district websites so there is a better understanding of the accessibility compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act, record retention requirements from the State Archives, and various First Amendment concerns for public forums and employees. 

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Steamboat Springs Office

Steamboat Office

Steve Jeffers opened an office for the firm in Steamboat Springs, Co in June. Steve plans to work in Steamboat on a part-time basis, in addition to his regular schedule in the Louisville office. The new office will help the better serve our West Slope clients and others while Steve spends more time enjoying the Colorado outdoors with his family in Steamboat. The office is located at 405 South Lincoln Ave., #205.

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Donations for the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and the Safe Shelter of St. Vrain

Shelter 2

The firm has been collecting travel size shampoo, conditioner, lotions, etc. These items will be donated to the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and the Safe Shelter of St. Vrain. Thank you to everyone who has participated as every little bit of these donations will help someone in need. Keep em' coming! 

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Congratulations Team Left Hand!

Team Left Hand 2

Congratulations to Longmont’s Team Left Hand for helping to #CrushMS June 23-24 for Bike MS Colorado.  Lyons Gaddis is proud to help sponsor such a great team and support a great cause.

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What is the Gallagher Amendment?

Amendments

In 1982, Colorado voters passed the Gallagher Amendment to the Colorado Constitution.  The Amendment got its name from Dennis Gallagher, the state legislator that proposed the action.  The primary concern of the Gallagher Amendment was to set a specific policy for determining actual value and assessed value of property in relation to the collection of property taxes within the State of Colorado. 

More specifically, the Gallagher Amendment set a fixed ratio for the amount of revenues collected through property tax and divided those revenues into two major categories: Non-residential and Residential.  Residential, as it suggests, is the property tax revenue generated from the ownership of homes.  Non-residential includes everything else, from commercial properties and farms, to oil and gas properties.  The Gallagher Amendment requires that Non-residential property tax revenues make up 55% of total property tax revenues, leaving Residential to account for the remaining 45%.  Significantly, the Gallagher Amendment also fixed the Non-residential Assessment Rate at 29% and requires the Residential Assessment Rate to fluctuate in order to maintain the 55%-45% ratio between the two sources of revenue.  The combination of the 55%-45% ratio and the floating Residential Assessment Rate has resulted in a consistent “ratcheting down” effect for the Residential Assessment Rate between 1982 and the present. 

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Congratulations Brad!

Bradley Hall

Our very own Brad Hall has been sworn in as the President of the Boulder County Bar Association. Congratulations! 

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2018 Taste of Louisville & Taste Race

Taste of Louisville

Lyons Gaddis was a proud sponsor of the 2018 Taste of Louisville & Taste 5K, what a fun day for the Louisville community!

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"I love it when a plan comes together." -Col. John "Hannibal" Smith (the A-Team)

Ziggis Coffee Drive Thru 002

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is watching a client's carefully laid plans take shape.  Ziggi's Coffee began with a husband and wife team pulling espresso shots behind the counter of their Longmont coffee shop.  They are now in growth mode and are opening their tenth Colorado location, with more to come.  It has been an honor to partner with them on this journey.  Check out this article about their new Greeley location, but more importantly, check out their coffee!  https://bit.ly/2y8h7Kr #coffee

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Parocha v. Parocha

Eve Canfield

Eve Canfield is a board member of Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley.  She wrote an amicus brief on behalf of five nonprofit organizations in support of a victim of domestic violence that left her home state and came to Colorado with their child, in Parocha v. Parocha, No. 17SC406. The amicus brief contributed to the Supreme Court’s Opinion on May 21, 2018, which established a major advancement in the protections available for victims of domestic violence and their families. 

A permanent protection order was granted by county court, but the District Court reversed, stating there were insufficient contacts to establish jurisdiction over the non-resident husband.  The Supreme Court considered whether and when a civil protection order is available to a victim of alleged domestic abuse who comes to Colorado seeking refuge from a non-resident partner.

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Sale or Purchase of Business Assets Don’t Forget the Government’s “Share”

TLB blog photo

The sale or purchase of a business involves The sale or purchase of a business involves many decisions which create tax impacts for the parties involved, both at the time of closing and in the future. While the media reports focus on multi-billion-dollar mergers and acquisitions, most business transfers involve far less in the amount of money involved, but each sale or purchase represents a large investment of money, time, and emotion in the business by both the seller and buyer. In every transaction, the taxing authorities, either as a result of the completion of the sale of a business, or in the future as the business continues to operate, will receive taxes from the seller or buyer.

Businesses can be sold in a number of ways, including the sale of stock or limited liability company membership interests, however most purchasers do not want to assume the potential risk of past tax or operating liabilities of the business entity, or the purchaser does not want to inherit the tax basis of the business entity in the various assets which have been partially or fully depreciated.  Accordingly, for the bulk of business transfers, the seller and purchaser will structure the business sale as an asset sale and purchase.

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128 Hits

What's New at Northern Water?

Northern Water

The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District influences many water use issues in Northeastern Colorado, including Boulder, Larimer and Weld Counties.  Northern Water is a public agency which is well-known for the construction and operation of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project. The C-BT Project collects West Slope water and delivers it to portions of eight Northeastern Colorado counties, providing supplemental water to more than 640,000 acres of irrigated farm and ranch land and about 960,000 people. The following are some news items involving Northern Water which affect many of our clients:

Eric Wilkinson retired after serving Northern Water as its General Manager from 1994-2018. Northern Water selected Brad Wind as its new General Manager.Following its Spring Water Users meeting, Northern Water Strong increased its 2018 quota allocation for the Colorado-Big Thompson Project to 80 percent citing strong regional water storage coupled with below-average precipitation. The May 1st report from NRCS corroborates this decision, showing the median percent of normal snowpack and streamflow forecasts for Boulder Creek at 81% and for St. Vrain Creek at 60%. In March, Northern Water conducted a sealed bid for 75 terminated C-BT units. Three parties were successful – one at $30,101/unit (50 units); one at $29,500/unit (2 units); and the one at $29,253/unit (23 units). Based upon monthly reported transfers, the C-BT market price appears to be approximately $28,500/unit.Also, in March, Northern Water auctioned off 15,000 acre-feet of C-BT water under its Regional Pool Program. Eight bidders were successful, with the high bid at $165.00/AF and the minimum successful bid at $126.00/AF. Bidders sought 38,985 AF of C-BT during this auction. To provide some perspective on the high demand for C-BT water, the 2017 Regional Pool auction for 12,300 acre-feet of C-BT yielded six successful bidders, with the high bid at $101.00/AF and the minimum successful bid at $81.00/AF.At its May meeting, Northern Water opened two separate rulemakings, each which has been continued to the June 14th meeting. The first rulemaking action proposes modifications to the existing Regional Pool Program rules to ensure more efficient use of C-BT water, including:Allowing an Account Entity who contributed water to the same Regional Pool to lease water from that Regional Pool (currently prohibited);Eliminating the current restriction that a Regional Pool lessee must use all water from its Regional Pool account by the end of the water year in order to lease water from the Regional Pool in the subsequent year; andGiving the Board discretion to define a volumetric limit any single bidder may lease from the Regional Pool.The second rulemaking action proposes modifications to the existing C-BT tracking and accounting rules, to ensure maximum lawful use of C-BT water, including:Imposing upon Account Entities (those with authority to order C‐BT from Northern Water), additional accounting requirements for the diversion, exchange, or storage of C‐BT water and for Utilities that supply C‐BT Project water for municipal/industrial uses;  Requiring agricultural users, as well as municipal/industrial users, to maintain and submit accounting for the storage and subsequent use of untreated C‐BT water if that water is stored for longer than 72 hours in a reservoir with a decreed storage right;Requiring entities to keep daily accounting of C‐BT Project water stored, estimated losses due to evaporation and seepage from storage, and beneficial use of releases from storage; andRequiring Utilities that treat and supply C‐BT Project water for municipal/industrial uses to begin collecting daily information to be submitted monthly concerning the amount of treated C‐BT Project water provided to customers.More information on each rulemaking can be found at http://www.northernwater.org/sf/allottee-information/allottee-documents.
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Do You Feel Well-Protected?

Jeffers Steve 011

Many  landowners and small businesses use wells that provide a vital water supply for their property.  Some wells are used for watering livestock, for drinking water inside homes, for irrigation of lawns and gardens, or for drinking and sanitary purposes inside a shop or other business.  People often take for granted their right to use their well, and don’t realize that use may be threatened.  Finding out you don’t have the proper permit or decree after your well goes dry from a nearby construction project, or after the state orders you to shut down the well, may be inconvenient, expensive, and difficult to fix. 

In Colorado, water rights outside the Designated Basins are administered based on “first in time is first in right”, with many of the first rights dating back to the 1860's.  In order to establish the priority of your water right and protect it from new uses, you must have a court decree.  No diversion is allowed from a well unless the owner also has a valid permit from the Division of Water Resources (DWR). If you own a small well that is important to your home or business, you should make sure you have a valid well permit and your use falls within the permit limits.  If you don’t have a well permit, or if your use is out of compliance, the State may shut down your well.  For questions about administration of wells or questions about your individual well permit, you can call DWR’s groundwater information desk.  However, before talking with them, you may want to consult with an experienced water attorney.

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Employment Trends Now

Catherine Tallerico

As we move into the second quarter of 2018, a few workplace trends to watch for are below:

1) Sexual Harassment.  The #MeToo movement demonstrates that workplace harassment remains a persistent problem.  Thirty-six percent of all Colorado charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOC) last year related to sexual harassment. Workplace harassment affects all workers and causes a drag on performance.  It’s time to take a hard look at sexual harassment policies, complaint and investigation procedures, and training programs. Best practices to ensure a safe and productive workplace include:

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Pass Through to Savings- a new deduction in the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act"

Anton Dworak

There is a significant new tax deduction taking effect in 2018 under the new tax law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Act). It should provide a substantial tax benefit to individuals with “qualified business income” from a partnership, S corporation, LLC, or sole proprietorship. This income is sometimes referred to as “pass-through” income.

The deduction is generally equal to 20% of your “qualified business income” (QBI) from a partnership, S corporation, or sole proprietorship, defined as the net amount of items of income, gain, deduction, and loss with respect to your trade or business. The business must be conducted within the U.S. to qualify, and specified investment-related items are not included, e.g., capital gains or losses, dividends, and interest income (unless the interest is properly allocable to the business). The trade or business of being an employee does not qualify. Also, QBI does not include reasonable compensation received from an S corporation, or a guaranteed payment received from a partnership for services provided to a partnership's business.

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Back from Russia

RNL

Dick Lyons (third from left) was one of 40 U.S. observers who joined 400 other international observers for the March 18 Russian presidential election.  After two days of training and briefing in Moscow by the O.S.C.E., Dick and his international  team from Armenia and Finland were flown further east to observe polling, counting, and tabulation procedures in rural areas outside of Perm, Russia near the Ural Mountains where they endured three days of bitter cold, wind, and snow.  The adverse weather did not deter the turnout!

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Water for Daffodils and Dreams

Madoline Wallace Gross

When daffodils pop up, so do the “for sale” signs on the ranch and mountain properties.  Whether you are buying your forever property or your just-for-now property, be sure to conduct water rights due diligence.   Water rights are complicated, and you need to protect your investment with the following steps.

Initially, ponder “What do I want to do with the property?”  Do you want a sprawling mansion or a quaint cabin?  Do you want a luscious lawn and a fish pond?  Have you always wanted horses and chickens? 

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Lyons Gaddis is a proud sponsor for Team Left Hand Bike MS

Team Left Hand Bike MS

June 23-24, 2018

http://ow.ly/f46i30iOMpq

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Firm News Archive

2018 BOCO Paralegals Valentine cards 004
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RNL award optimized
Thomas Beckmann
Valentine's Day ProjectThe Paralegal Section of the Boulder County Bar participated in sending out hand written valentines to Boulder County seniors living in nursing homes.  We would like to thank Ginny Hout, Kyna Glover, and Jessica Grover for sending out 80 valentines our behalf of Lyons Gaddis.

50 year Boulder Bar Members                                                                                                                                                                                                   Wally H. Grant was recognized as one of three bar members in attendance at the BCBA lunch meeting with CBA president and Supreme Court Justice Marquez that have practiced law for 50 years.  Congratulations Wally!

SPECIAL DISTRICT ASSOCIATION OF COLORADO CONFERENCE 2017 (SDA)Richard Lyons, II, Adele Reester, Cathy Tallerico, and John Chmil will be speaking at SDA this year. Ms. Reester is on a panel to discuss: Consolidation of Fire Services: A study in Collaboration. Mr. Lyons and Mr. Chmil will be speaking on the legal challenges special districts face when setting fees and offering advice on how special districts can avoid its fees being invalidated as unconstitutional exactions. 

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Serving The Entire State Of Colorado
Map and Directions

Longmont Office

515 Kimbark Street, Second Floor
Longmont, CO 80502
Phone: 303-776-9900 
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Louisville Office

363 Centennial Parkway, Suite 110
Louisville, CO 80027
Phone: 720-726-3670 
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