- May 2, 2016
This paper explores a compilation of Colorado rankings from the “2013 State and Business Tax Climate Index.”READ MORE
State and local governments report the funding status of their pension plans in financial statements following standards set by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Historically, those standards allowed state and local governments to use an actuarial model and to discount liabilities based on the long-term yield on the assets held in the pension fund. The Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) uses an 8 percent discount rate comparable to that used in most state and local pension plans. GASB also allowed state and local governments to use a smoothing technique to calculate the funding status of the plans. With this smoothing technique, losses incurred on assets in one year could be averaged over several years.READ MORE
Policy debates frequently turn on whether the government is spending at a reasonable level, and that is defined by the relative spending in other states. Relatively low rankings are presumed to indicate of under-spending by Colorado governments. The low rankings, however, are inconsistent with Colorado’s overall ranking for tax burden, which is close to the national median. We examine many claims relating to Colorado government spending overall, in K-12 education, in higher education, and in healthcare, and we conclude that most are misinterpreted or overstated. Colorado collects the national average in taxes,
so how could it be that support for government programs is so uniformly near the bottom?
The paper is based on testimony presented to the Senate Finance Committee regarding the soundness of the Public Employees Retirement Association fund. Dr. Poulson recommends steps to fix the actuarial problems, and modifying the retirement.READ MORE
Residents of Colorado should know how their tax burden compares with Americans throughout the nation. Colorado ranks 26th nationally, compared to all other states for the combined state and local tax burden, on a per capita basis.READ MORE
Proposition 103 is an initiative that will increase Colorado tax rates and require the state to spend the money on government schools. Prop 103 increases the personal income tax, the corporate income tax, and the statewide sales and use tax for the years 2012 through 2016.
The Fiscal Impact Statement prepared by Colorado’s Legislative Council Staff estimates the cost of the tax increase at $2.9 billion. However, the cost for Colorado taxpayers will be significantly greater than staff estimates. Legislative Council uses static analysis, measuring only the direct impact of the higher taxes on state revenue. They ignore the negative impact the tax increase will have on economic growth and jobs in Colorado.READ MORE