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Budget Related Publications

Forecast December 2023

Fiscal Policy & Taxes
State Revenue & Budget

Focus Colorado presents forecasts for the economy and state government revenue through FY 2023-24. 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.

View Full Report          View Economic Outlook Presentation          Consumer Price Index

Focus Colorado Sections:

Executive Summary

An executive summary of the full economic and revenue forecast.

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.

School Finance Outlook

This section presents information on the outlook for school finance from a state budgetary perspective, both in the current year (FY 2023-24) and the budget year (FY 2024-25). 

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 separate 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;

  • marijuana tax revenue.

School Enrollment Projections

This section of the forecast presents projections for kindergarten through twelfth grade (K-12) enrollment in Colorado’s public schools. Projections are presented in full-time equivalent (FTE) terms, and are an important factor in determining funding levels for Colorado’s 178 school districts. Table 18 summarizes current and projected enrollment for the 2023-24 through 2025‑26 school years by forecast region. Figure 10 on page 55 shows enrollment growth projections by school district for the 2024-25 school year.

Assessed Value Projections

This section provides an estimate of assessed values for residential and nonresidential property in Colorado for the 2023 property tax year, and projections of assessed values through 2026. Property values and assessment rates determine assessed values, the taxable portion of a property’s value to which mill levies are applied. Property taxes are the largest source of local government tax revenue in Colorado and are collected by counties, cities, and special districts.

Assessed Value Forecast by School District December 2023

Adult Prison Population and Parole Caseload Projections

This section presents projections of the state’s adult prison population and parole caseload for FY 2023-24 through FY 2025-26. It includes a discussion of the historical and current trends affecting these populations, changes to expectations since the December 2022 forecast, and relevant recent legislation. It concludes with an analysis of risks to the forecast.

Youth Corrections Population Projections

This section presents the forecast for the population of juvenile offenders administered by the Division of Youth Services (DYS) in the Department of Human Services (CDHS). The three major populations administered by the DYS are youths committed to custody, previously committed youths serving a period of parole, and youths in DYS detention.

Economic Outlook

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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


Historical economic data for the nation and Colorado.

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details