Economic Forecast Key In Upcoming Colo. Budget

By: AP
By: AP
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DENVER (AP) -- An improving economy is giving Colorado more tax money to spend next year. Now Democrats and Republicans at the Capitol can start fighting over how to spend the money.

Two economic forecasts delivered to lawmakers Monday predicted more than $150 million in additional income taxes and sales taxes next year. The state is predicting less money from severance taxes because of declining natural gas prices.

The additional money next year gives budget writers in Colorado's divided Legislature a lot to debate before a budget draft is due next week. Republicans want to additional money to go to a property tax break for seniors.

Democrats including Gov. John Hickenlooper say the money should first go to K-12 schools and colleges. Democrats also want to enhance a fund for needy seniors, not all seniors as Republicans suggest.

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