Is our state government secretly working to end the boom?

Brief by Central Staff

Growth – March 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Is the state government secretly working to end this boom?

The most important reasons for businesses to locate in Colorado are quality of life and quality of workforce. That’s the conclusion of a poll conducted recently by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry.

Ranking right behindwere the state’s tax structure, surface transportation system, and K-12 education system.

If all this is true, then an end to the boom might be in sight. Colorado ranks 29th of the 50 states in its spending on K-12 education. Our surface transportation system has been severely degraded by the UP-SP merger and consequent rail abandonments. The property-tax structure, with the Gallagher Amendment forcing commercial property to pay more than half the property taxes in any jurisdiction, is absurd or worse.

As for quality of workforce, Colorado generally imports people for the better-paying jobs, relying on its “quality of life” to attract them. And the “quality of life” deteriorates with the sprawling growth that the state allows, even encourages.

Add all that up, and it appears that the recent spate of growth, if it is indeed fueled by these factors, has to end soon. But what will we be left with?