Understanding The Fiscal Conditions Of Colorado

Colorado Futures Center

The Colorado Futures Center is an independent, nonpartisan and academically grounded 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to informing about economic, fiscal and public policy issues impacting community economic health and quality of life in Colorado and beyond.

Social Factors of Academic Success

Social factors matter in academic success. This research, commissioned by the Colorado State University system office, identifies the social factors most highly associated with academic success in Colorado’s young learners.

The findings and policy recommendations are available here.

Media Response

CODI: The Disproportionate Impact Indicator

On December 13, CFC along with its partners The Colorado Energy Foundation and Civic Innovators introduced CODI, the disproportionate impact indicator.  View the presentation slides here.

The Colorado Energy Foundation is firmly committed to community partnership and investment that is targeted and tailored to the unique needs of each community. To achieve this, the CEF has partnered with the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University to develop an interactive map that enables user to view multiple layers of data at the census tract level. The Colorado Disproportionate Impact Indicator (CODI Indicator) was developed and informed by a diverse group of nonprofit service providers, with data layers strategically prioritized to provide a comprehensive view of each community in Colorado and inform a greater understanding of relative need.

This online, interactive tool examines the intersection of several dimensions of community needs and builds on our understanding that challenges – and solutions – never happen in an isolated silo. The upstream determinants of equity are grounded in basics needs such as housing, food access, health care and affordable energy, while economic mobility and self-sufficiency requires investments in education and workforce development. All of these variables are interwoven and must be understood as a whole to create a unique profile of opportunity in each community.

Click here to request access to the CODI Indicator

Housing Affordability Series

It is reasonable to consider the cautionary economic news of the last months, specifically those related to the increase in interest rates and their impact on housing, and wonder if, under emerging economic conditions, the changing market will take care of Colorado’s housing affordability challenges. In fact, the “will the market correct itself” question is posed increasingly as the economic conditions evolve. This research brief explores the concept of the housing market “correcting” itself by assessing the extent of the decline in home values required, by county, in order for the same share of “owner occupiable” housing stock to be affordable to the median income in 2021 as was affordable to the median income in 2015.

Affordability for Teachers and Other Middle-Income Earners

Less than 20% of homes in Colorado are valued at a price that is affordable for teachers earning an average salary, according to a new report released today by the Keystone Policy Center with data and analytic support from the Colorado Futures Center. The report, titled Homeownership for Colorado Teachers: Affording the American Dream, explores the challenges of affordable homeownership for schoolteachers and other middle-income earners in Colorado and is accompanied by an interactive where users can explore affordability by school district and at multiple increments of income.

Economic activity in Colorado rebounded to its pre-pandemic high in September 2021 and the economy is projected to continue to expand, according to the ColoradoCast, a new quarterly short-term forecast from the reestablished Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University System.

Doubled-up Households in Colorado: Demographic Update and Economic Assessment

Doubling up in housing has continued to grow in Colorado. This current research finds that 680,000 households in Colorado were doubled up in 2019, the last year for which data are available. This translates to three out of every ten households statewide, up from one in five back in 2006. This update to CFC’s 2017 work on doubling up re-explores the demographics of doubled up households, examines the changes since 2006 and expands the analysis to explore the economic circumstances of Colorado’s doubled up households.

New From CFC

CFC invited to contribute case study to Lincoln Institute program researching Barriers to Affordable Housing

This case study, supported by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, explores the relationship among the factors that brought modular builder indieDwell to Pueblo and how those factors combined to provide Colorado an affordable housing option. The findings include key learnings about how multiple players (research, philanthropy, government, private sector) can join effectively and quickly to address affordable housing needs in Colorado and elsewhere.

Perspectives on the Pandemic

The Colorado Futures Center announces its newest resource, Perspectives on the Pandemic, our research dedicated to a better understanding how the COVID recession is impacting all Coloradans – people, households and governments.

NEW: How southern Colorado is working to bridge the digital divide in schools: One in 20 Colorado students live in a home without internet access. Most of those houses have elementary school age kids and are in rural or low-income areas.
Read Morehttps://coloradosun.com/2021/05/24/san-luis-valley-digital-divide-colorado/

NEW: How Southern Coloradans Unite to End Their Schools’ Digital Divide
Read More:

District 51 continues efforts to provide all students with broadband access:

The COVID-19 pandemic forced District 51 officials to get creative in 2020 while also highlighting the value of cleaning supplies, plans and a sound technology and broadband strategy.

Dan Burke, the school district’s executive director of technology services, has led the district’s adaptation to remote and hybrid learning. The most notable change was the creation of an online class system, but this change shined a spotlight on another issue facing the district’s students: lack of access to the internet.

Read the complete article from The Daily Sentinel: https://www.gjsentinel.com/news/western_colorado/district-51-continues-efforts-to-provide-all-students-with-broadband-access/article_e4fa4024-44b7-11eb-a6ce-8bc2f3f59efa.html

Jobs Report Foreshadows Housing Instability for Colorado’s Vulnerable Workers: The Time is Now for Colorado to Assess and Plan for Longer-Term Impacts

517,000 workers in 406,500 Colorado lower-income households rely on employment in one of the four industries most impacted by COVID-related job losses: Retail Trade; Accommodation and Food Service; Arts, Entertainment and Recreation; and Health Care and Social Assistance.  If forecasts prove correct, a significant share of the job losses will be permanent. This brief argues that the time is now for Colorado to explore sustainable solutions, beyond emergency aid, for those affected by permanent job losses.  The first step in crafting sustainable solutions is to better understand who is affected.  The workers and households most adversely affected are:

  • Majority Female: 60 percent of the workers in these industries are female
  • Plurality in Prime Working Years: Just over four in ten of these workers are over age 44
  • Concentrated in Rental Housing: 56 percent are rental households
  • Experiencing Housing Cost Stress Pre-COVID: 223,500 households were spending over 30 percent of their income on housing before COVID-related job losses
  • Single Parents: Three in ten cost stressed households are headed by a single parent
  • Housing Vulnerable Children: 141,500 children live in housing cost stressed households with a parent working in the affected industries.  110,000 of these children are being raised by a single parent.
  • Lacking a College Degree: Among the housing cost stressed, 183,000 workers lack a college degree

Read The Full Report

Who Are Colorado’s School-Age Children Without Access to Internet?

Nearly 1 in 20 school-age children in Colorado who are living in households without internet. This brief is designed to help Colorado leaders and decision makers better understand who these children are, where they live, and how Colorado’s digital divide has the potential to widen the state’s existing educational achievement gap. Specifically, the 54,000 school-age children in Colorado living in households reporting no internet access are:

  • Overwhelmingly Hispanic: Two-thirds of children living without internet are Hispanic.
  • Disproportionally Young: 49 percent of children without internet access are in elementary school.
  • Largely Lower Income: 52 percent of children without internet live in households earning less than $50,000, with 25 percent in households learning less than $25,000.
  • Geographically Dispersed: These children live in all regions of the state, but in higher numbers in Southwest Colorado and in the metro Denver region.
  • Children of Essential Workers: A majority, 57 percent, of these children have at least one parent working in an essential industry.

Read The Full Report

How Will Municipal Sales Tax Performance be Affected by COVID-Induced Income and Wealth Effects?

Municipal sales tax revenues will respond to the COVID recession differently and depending on the composition of the local tax base.  This brief explores how the revenues for a select group of Colorado cities, specifically those that are members of Municipal Fiscal Facts, will respond to the changes in household income and wealth likely to result from the current COVID recession.

Read The Full Report

Colorado Economic Experts On The Economic Repercussions of 2020 – State of Reform

Dr. Resnick had a chance to present this research to the State of Reform Conference in November.  The highlights are at https://stateofreform.com/featured/2020/12/colorado-economic-experts-on-the-economic-repercussions-of-2020/

Studies And Reports

Helping you understand the current and topic issues related to the fiscal state of Colorado

Recreational Marijuana: Amendment 64 Analysis

Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 in November 2012, legalizing the production, sale and use of adult recreational marijuana under Colorado law. Since then, various mechanisms of state government  have been looking at how to implement the amendment, including how best to regulate and tax the sale of recreational marijuana. Read the full report: The Fiscal Impact of [...]

Analysis of the Fiscal Sustainability of State Government

Download the full report: An Analysis of the Fiscal Sustainability of State Government (April 2011) Economists talk in terms of whether a phenomenon is cyclical or structural. High unemployment, for example, can be a cyclical problem when uctuations in economic activity trend downward—many laid-off workers will be rehired when the cycle resumes an upswing. Structural unemployment, [...]

General Fund Revenues and Expenditures: A Structural Imbalance

Note: This 2011 report was researched and written by the Colorado Futures Center at CSU team when previously attached to the Colorado Economic Futures Center at the University of Denver. Download this report: General Fund Revenues and Expenditures: A Structural Imbalance The 2013 study is available here: The Colorado Sustainability Study Economists talk in terms of whether [...]

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