Denver (AP) The head of the Colorado Legislature's Joint
Budget Committee is warning that brutal budget cuts, new fees and
higher taxes are on the table when state lawmakers consider ways to
fix the state budget.
Senator Moe Keller, a Wheat Ridge Democrat, told a panel studying
the state's budget crisis on thursday that longterm options include
new regional sales taxes, shifting programs between counties and
state agencies, consolidating cigarette and transportation
tax-sharing programs, taking back part of the lottery proceeds,
eliminating enterprise zones and freezing conservation easements.
The state may also have to close some state parks.
Lawmakers learned last month they have to make more budget cuts
because tax revenue is expected to drop $384 million more than they
The total shortfall could grow as high as $838 million next year, but keller is warning lawmakers it could exceed $1 billion because of caseload increases and obligations.