o It is a 0.1% retail sales and use tax (one penny on every $10).
o According to the Colorado statute, the SCFD distributes the money to local organizations on an annual basis. These organizations must provide for the enlightenment and entertainment of the public through the production, presentation, exhibition, advancement or preservation of art, music, theater, dance, zoology, botany, natural history or cultural history.
o As directed by statute, SCFD recipient organizations are currently divided into three "tiers" among which receipts are allocated by percentage.
" Tier I includes regional organizations: the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Zoo, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. It receives 65.5%.
" Tier II currently includes 26 regional organizations. Tier II receives 21%.
" Tier III has over 280 local organizations such as small theaters, orchestras, art centers, and natural history, cultural history, and community groups. Tier III organizations apply for funding to the county cultural councils via a grant process. This tier receives 13.5%.
o An eleven-member board of directors oversees the distributions in accordance with the Colorado Revised Statutes. Seven board members are appointed by county commissioners (in Denver, the Denver City Council) and four members are appointed by the Governor of Colorado.
" The Football Stadium District (FD or FTBL), approved by the voters to pay for and help build the Denver Broncos' stadium INVESCO Field at Mile High
" Local Improvement Districts (LID) within designated areas of southeast Jefferson and Boulder counties
" Regional Transportation Districts (RTA) taxes at varying rates in Basalt, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, Gunnison County
" Occupational Privilege Taxes (OPT or Head Tax) Denver and Aurora both levy an OPT on Employers and Employees
o If any employee performs work in the city limits and is paid over US$500.00 for that work in a single month, the Employee and Employer are both liable for the OPT regardless of where the main business office is located or headquartered.
o In Denver, the Employer is liable for US$4.00 per employee per month and the Employee is liable for US$5.75 per month.
o In Aurora, both Employer and Employees are liable for US$2.00 per month.
o It is the Employer's responsibility to with hold, remit, and file the OPT returns. If an Employer does not comply, they can be held liable for both portions of the OPT as well as penalties and interest.
Government and Politics
Like all U.S. states, Colorado's constitution provides for three branches of government: the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The governor heads the state's executive branch. The Colorado Supreme Court is the highest judicial body in the state. The state legislative body is the Colorado General Assembly, which is made up of two houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The House has 65 members and the Senate has 35. Currently, Democrats are in control of both chambers of the General Assembly. The 2005 Colorado General Assembly was the first to be controlled by the Democrats in forty years. The incumbent Governor of the State of Colorado is August William "Bill" Ritter, Jr. (D).
Many Coloradans are transplanted citizens (over half of them were Californians in the 1990s), and this is illustrated by the fact that the state has not had a native-born governor since 1975 (when John David Vanderhoof left office) and -- until Bill Ritter's election in November 2006 -- had not elected one since 1958, in the person of Stephen L.R. McNichols. Vanderhoof ascended from the Lieutenant Governorship when John Arthur Love was given a position in Richard Nixon's administration in 1973.) Bill Ritter (D), a humanitarian missionary worker in Africa and former Denver District Attorney, defeated former congressman and banker Bob Beauprez (R) in the 2006 gubernatorial election.
Colorado is considered a swing state in both state and federal elections. Coloradans elected 17 Democrats and 12 Republicans to the governorship in the last 100 years. In presidential politics, Colorado supported Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992, and supported Republican presidential nominee Robert J. Dole in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2000, and 2004.
Colorado politics has the contrast of conservative cities such as Colorado Springs and liberal cities such as Boulder. Democrats are strongest in metropolitan Denver, the college towns of Fort Collins and Boulder, southern Colorado (including Pueblo), and a few western ski resort counties. The Republicans are strongest in the Eastern Plains, Colorado Springs, Greeley, some Denver suburbs, and the western half of State (including Grand Junction). The fastest growing parts of the state particularly Douglas, Elbert, and Weld Counties, in the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Area, are somewhat Republican.
The two current U.S. Senators from Colorado are Wayne Allard (R), and Ken Salazar (D). The state has seven U.S. Congressional districts, based on the 2000 Census.
Cities and Towns
Colorado has 271 incorporated municipalities and 83 active United States Census Designated Places.
The skyline of downtown Denver with Speer Boulevard in the foreground
Colleges and universities in Colorado:
" Adams State College
" Aims Community College
" Arapahoe Community College
" Art Institute of Colorado
" Colorado Christian University
" Colorado College
" Colorado Community College Online
" Colorado Mountain College
" Colorado Northwestern Community College
" Colorado School of Mines
" Colorado State University System
o Colorado State University
o Colorado State University-Pueblo
" Colorado Technical University
" Community College of Aurora
" Community College of Denver
" Denver Seminary
" DeVry University
" Fort Lewis College
" Front Range Community College
" Heritage College & Heritage Institute
" Iliff School of Theology
" Johnson & Wales University
" Jones International University
" Lamar Community College " Mesa State College
" Metropolitan State College of Denver
" Morgan Community College
" Naropa University
" National Technological University
" Nazarene Bible College
" Northeastern Junior College
" Otero Junior College
" Pikes Peak Community College
" Pueblo Community College
" Red Rocks Community College
" Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design