By Paul Simon
Denver Private Investigator Blogger
The misguided venture into voluntary private investigator licensing in Colorado has put the state into an estimated $70,000 hole that would be made up from the state’s general fund in the first year of mandatory licensing, should the measure pass in the legislative before it adjourns early in May.
That shortfall would put the licensing program in the red for the first year but the program would bring in more than it costs the second year, according to a fiscal analysis prepared for the Senate Finance Committee that is scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday. Approval would send it to the full Senate for consideration.
Licensing opponents within the profession have been critical of the cost of the voluntary program now in its third year and the impact on those who participate, with fees rising from $340 the first year to $644 and then to $1,094. Critics also object to taxpayers footing the bill for the debt the voluntary program has incurred because fewer investigators participated than had been projected.
The fiscal impact report projects revenue from licensing at $135,950 the first year against costs of $160,482, then revenue the second year at $120,940 vs. costs of $62.134. It also projects adding staff time to the one fulltime staff person allocated to voluntary licensing, to a total of 1.6 FTE to administer the program.