- Economy of Colorado
The economy of the
U.S. State of Coloradois both diverse and healthy. [http://www.bea.gov/ The Bureau of Economic Analysis] estimates that the total state product in 2003 was $187 billion. Per capita personal income in 2003 was $34,561, putting Colorado 8th in the nation. The state's economy broadened from its mid-19th century roots in mining when irrigated agriculture developed, and by the late 19th century, raising livestock had become important. Early industry was based on the extraction and processing of minerals and agricultural products. Current agricultural products are cattle, wheat, dairy products, corn, and hay.
The federal government is also a major economic force in the state with many important federal facilities including
NORADand the United States Air Force Academyin Colorado Springs; NOAAand the National Institute of Standards and Technologyin Boulder; U.S. Geological Surveyand other government agencies at the Denver Federal Centerin Lakewood; the Denver Mintand 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver; and a federal Supermax Prison and other federal prisonsnear Cañon City. There are of course various other federal agencies and federally owned lands in the state, especially with Colorado's abundant National Forestsand four National Parks. There are also numerous private companies that have operations in Colorado that deal with the governmental agencies in the state.
In the second half of the 20th century, the industrial and service sectors have expanded greatly. The state's economy is diversified and is notable for its concentration of scientific research and high-technology industries. Other industries include
food processing, transportation equipment, machinery, chemical products, minerals such as gold and molybdenum, and tourism. Denver is an important financial center.
income taxrate is a flat 4.63 percent of your federal taxable income regardless of your income level. Colorado's state sales taxis 2.9 percent on retail sales. Full-year Colorado residents can claim an excess sales tax refund on their individual state income tax return. Many counties and cities charge their own rates in addition to the base state rate. There are also certain county and special district taxes that may apply. The most common special district taxes are:
*Regional Transportation District (RTD), which affects the counties of Denver, Boulder, Jefferson and portions of Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield and Douglas
*Cultural Facilities District (CD)
*Football Stadium District (FD or FTBL), approved by the voters to pay for and help build the
Denver Broncos’ stadium
*Local Improvement District (LID) within designated areas of southeast Jefferson and Boulder counties
*Regional Transportation District (RTA) taxes at varying rates in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Gunnison County
Real estateand personal business property are taxable in Colorado. The state's senior property tax exemption was temporarily suspended by the Colorado Legislature in 2003. The tax break is scheduled to return for assessment year 2006, payable in 2007.
Given a 250 mile radius around the city, Denver is aeronautically equidistant between the global city of Los Angeles and the midwest metropolis of Chicago. Simultaneously, Denver is aeronautically equidistant between high-tech Seattle and jazzy New Orleans. Consequently,
Denver's economy (Denver is the Rocky Mountain region's preeminent city), is based largely on its geographic position. Denver is the prominent city within 600 miles (the closest city of comparable size is Phoenix, Arizona), and Denver is fast becoming the strategic location for federal, high-tech, educational, commercial, financial, cultural, tourist, storage, and distribution services to the Rocky Mountain States. The city is also home to several large corporations in the central United States. The economic diversity at the city, state, regional, national, federal, and international level allows the state of Colorado to weather economic cycles soundly.
Geography and trade
Geography also allows Denver to have a considerable government presence, with many federal agencies based or having offices in the Denver area. In fact, the
Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Areahas more federal workers than any other metropolitan area except for the Washington D.C.metropolitan area.Fact|date = April 2008 Along with the plethora of federal agencies come many companies based on US defense and space projects. Lockheed-Martinand Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.are examples. Being the capitalof the state of Coloradoalso gives many state jobs to Denver.
Denver's position near the mineral-rich
Rocky Mountains, encouraged mining and energy companies to spring up in the area. In the early days of the city, gold and silver booms and busts played a large role in the economic success of the city. In the 1970s and early '80s, the energy crisis in America created an energy boom in Denver captured in the soap opera "Dynasty". During this time, Denver was built up considerably, with many new downtown skyscrapersbuilt during this time. Eventually the oil prices dropped from $34 a barrel in 1981 to $9 a barrel in 1986, and the Denver economy dropped with it, leaving almost 15,000 oil industry workers in the area unemployed (including mayor John Hickenlooper, a former geologist), and the highest office vacancy rate in the nation (30%) [ [http://www.denvergov.org/aboutdenver/history_timeline_short.asp Denver History - Short History ] ] . Energy and mining are still important in Denver's economy today, with companies such as Newmont Mining, Patina Oil and Gas, and Western Gas Resources.
Denver's west-central geographic location in the Mountain Time Zone (UTC -7) also benefits the telecommunications industry by allowing communication with both North American coasts, South America, Europe, and Asia in the same business day. Denver's location on the 105th meridian at over 1 mile in elevation also enables it to be the largest city in the U.S. to offer a 'one-bounce' real-time satellite uplink to six continents in the same business day.
Qwest Communications, EchoStar, Starz-Encore, and Comcastare just a few of the telecommunications companies with operations in the Denver area. These and other high-tech companies had a boom in Denver in the mid to late 1990s, but the technology bust in the new millennium caused Denver to lose many of those technology jobs. Recently the Denver area has started making a comeback, with the October 2005 unemployment at 4.7% the lowest since September 2001 [ [http://www.metrodenver.org/DataCenter/DenverEconomy/MonthlyEconSummary.icm Metro Denver Business Economy & Economic Summary Archive ] ] . Denver government and industry leaders are attempting to diversify the Denver economy so that it is less susceptible to boom and bust cycles.
List of companies with Denver area operations
* [http://www.colorado.gov/ The State of Colorado]
** [http://www.denvergov.org/ The City and County of Denver]
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