- March 21, 2017
Colorado state government has a spending problem. Although inflation-adjusted per capita personal income in Colorado is still below its 2003 level, state spending has risen every year since 1999. State tax revenue has risen, but it cannot keep up with the spending.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?
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
by Harris Kenny Solar panel-maker Solyndra has been in the headlines because it received $528 million worth of taxpayer-backed federal loans and then went bankrupt. But Denver residents don’t need to look at failed Solyndra to see the trouble that government loans can bring. Sadly, there are some prime examples closer to home. Last month,READ MORE