Posted inBusiness, Economy, Education, News, Politics and Government

PERA’s investments generated billions in 2020. But the Colorado pension’s financial condition worsened.

It was another frustrating year for Colorado’s 631,000 public pension members. Despite a banner stock market year that saw Colorado’s Public Employees’ Retirement Association generate 17.4% returns on its investments — more than double its target — the state’s public pension still ended 2020 in worse financial shape than it started. PERA’s unfunded debt to […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

A guide to how Amendment 23, “the budget stabilization factor” and “the negative factor” shape education spending in Colorado

The fight over school funding in Colorado has become one of the state’s most consequential political battlegrounds, a defining issue in elections and governance from the local level all the way up to the governor’s office. But following the debate can be difficult. Lurking behind every fight over teacher pay and four-day school weeks is […]

Posted inPolitics and Government

Colorado’s state budget drives decisions that affect us all, but it’s long and complicated. We’re here to help.

Schools, roads, parks. The cost of college and health care. How much you pay in taxes. No matter what issue you care about in Colorado, chances are the state budget plays a large role in its fate. The good news: following the budget process from home is easier than ever thanks to live-streamed government meetings […]

Posted inNews, Politics and Government

More contribution hikes, benefit cuts may be needed to close $4.5 billion hole in Colorado’s PERA

Colorado’s 634,000 public pension members face automatic contribution hikes and benefit cuts in 2022 thanks to a financial failsafe that’s expected to kick in for the second time in three years. It would also require more taxpayer money from public agencies already reeling from the pandemic’s economic fallout. The latest round of expected austerity measures […]

Posted inElection 2020, Politics and Government

The 2020 election untied and retied the fiscal knot in Colorado with decisions on Gallagher and taxes

On the same ballot that cemented statewide Democratic power not seen since 1936, Colorado’s voters once again sent their elected leaders mixed messages on taxes and spending. They voted to raise taxes in one measure, and cut them in another. They authorized expansive new social programs, while limiting the state’s ability to afford the programs […]

Posted inElection 2020, Politics and Government

Proposition 117 explained: Colorado voters would have more control over government fees

It’s the rare point of bipartisan agreement in Colorado politics where public spending is concerned: Since the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights took effect in 1992, state lawmakers have increasingly turned to fees to fund government operations. But how you feel about that development, depends on your politics. To the left, it’s an unfortunate side effect […]

Posted inElection 2020, Politics and Government

Amendment B explained: What repealing the Gallagher Amendment would mean for Colorado and your property taxes

For the second straight year, Colorado voters face a choice on a complicated tax question that could have major implications for generations to come in terms of public services and taxpayers’ wallets. This time, the matter at hand is whether to repeal the Gallagher Amendment, a constitutional provision that has had more impact on Colorado […]

Posted inBusiness, Politics and Government

Colorado state budget could escape “worst of the worst,” latest economic estimates show

Colorado could be spared billions in additional state budget cuts under new economic forecasts released Friday with one crucial caveat: As long as new viral outbreaks don’t send the economy back into a tailspin. “I think today’s forecast is going to spare us the worst of the worst,” Lauren Larson, the governor’s budget director, told […]

Posted inBusiness, Election 2020, Politics and Government

Amendment B puts spotlight on Gallagher’s mixed legacy of budget cuts, tax relief and inequality in Colorado

If you live in the Denver metro area, you can be forgiven if the panic surrounding the Gallagher Amendment sounds like utter nonsense. “What tax cuts?” a homeowner may ask. Gallagher has saved Colorado residents $2.8 billion in property taxes last year alone, but in the metro area, homeowners continue to see their property tax […]