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Forecast December 2014


Focus Colorado presents forecasts for the economy and state government revenue through FY 2016-17. Implications of the forecast for the state's General Fund budget and spending limit are described in the report's highlights and executive summary sections. The report is based on current law, legislation passed by the General Assembly affecting the forecast is described throughout the report.
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Focus Colorado Sections:


Highlights and Executive Summary

A summary of the economic and revenue forecasts and what it means for the state's General Fund budget and spending limits, including a list of legislation affecting the General Fund budget situation.


General Fund Budget Overview

An overview of what the revenue forecast means for the General Fund budget, transfers to the State Education Fund, Senate Bill 09-228 transfers to capital construction and transportation, and tax policies available only when there is a certain level of growth in General Fund revenue.


TABOR Outlook 

Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution (TABOR) limits the annual state revenue the state may retain and either spend or save. This section presents the outlook for revenue subject to TABOR, the TABOR limit, and TABOR refunds. In addition, this section describes the mechanisms used to refund revenue in excess of the TABOR limit.


General Fund Revenue

The General Fund is the state's operating budget fund. It receives 95 percent of its revenue from income and sales taxes. Major General Fund revenue forecasts include:

income taxes;

sales and use taxes; and

cigarette, tobacco products, and liquor excise taxes.


Cash Fund Revenue

Cash funds are seperate from the state General Fund. Cash funds receive revenue from a specific fee or tax that are set aside to be used for a specific purpose. Major cash fund revenue forecasts include:

gasoline taxes;

vehicle registration fees;

gaming taxes;

hospital provider fees;

severance taxes and federal mineral lease revenue; and

unemployment insurance premiums, benefits, and the trust fund balance.


Economic Outlook

A summary and forecast of the health of the Colorado and national economy.


Assessed Value Projections

This section provides a forecast for property tax assessed values statewide. Public schools in Colorado are primarily financed with state aid and local property taxes. Assessed values are the tax base to which local school property tax rates are applied.


School Enrollment Projections

This section provides a forecast for Kindergarten through twelfth grade enrollment in Colorado's public schools.


Adult Prison & Parole Population Projections

This section provides a forecast for adult prison and parole populations in Colorado.


Youth Corrections Population Projections

This section provides a forecast for the population of juvenile offenders administered by the Division of Youth Corrections in the Department of Human Services.


Colorado Economic Regions

Summaries of the current economy in the following regions:

Metro Denver: Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties.

Northern: Weld and Larimer counties.

Colorado Springs: El Paso County.

Pueblo and Southern Mountains: Pueblo, Fremont, Custer, Huerfano, and Las Animas counties.

San Luis Valley: Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache counties.

Southwest Mountain Region: Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, and San Juan counties.

Western: Delta, Garfield, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Ouray, Rio Blanco, and San Miguel counties.

Mountain: Chafee, Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jackson, Lake, Park, Pitkin, Routt, Summit, and Teller counties.

Eastern: Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Morgan, Washington, Yuma, Elbert, Lincoln, Kit Carson, Cheyenne, Crowley, Kiowa, Otero, Bent, Prowers, and Baca counties.



Historical economic data for the nation and Colorado.


Photograph taken in Rocky Mountain National Park, courtesy of Christie Lee.

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