Balancing Colorado’s Budget
I’d like to ask constituents what they want to protect and what they want to cut. In that spirit, please visit backseatbudgeter.com. It is an invaluable tool that puts you in the driver’s seat for making cuts or raising taxes to balance the state budget. It also shows you how arduous it is to balance the budget with all of the conflicting provisions in our state constitution. A similar tool, Tax Tracks, tells you exactly where your tax money is going. I’d love to hear any thoughts you’ve come up with after using either of these tools.
Not only is balancing the budget this year a tough challenge, but it is only the first part of the work that needs to be done. A recent study by the University of Denver concluded that even a strong recovery and consistent job growth over the next decade will not produce enough income and sales tax revenue to pay for Medicaid and public schools. According to the study, problems with Colorado’s revenue structure combine with retiring baby-boomers and increasing health care costs, and mean that Colorado’s obligations will out-pace its revenues perpetually.
The bottom line: sooner or later we’re going to have to put politics aside, and decide what kind of state we want for our children and grandchildren.