Hot SheetState budget

Colorado lags others states on share of federal dollars

Author: Mark Harden - July 24, 2018 - Updated: July 24, 2018


Colorado gets a smaller share of its state budget from federal dollars than all but a few western states, a new report says.

Map shows how states rank on the percentage of their state budgets that comes from federal grants. (The Pew Charitable Trusts)

Federal grants accounted for 30.6 percent of Colorado state revenue in fiscal year 2016, according to the report from The Pew Charitable Trusts. In the West, only Kansas (23 percent), North Dakota (23.8 percent), Utah (25.7 percent) and Washington state (30.2 percent) drew a smaller share of their state revenue from federal sources. Kansas was lowest nationally.

By comparison, Arizona and New Mexico both derived 41.2 percent of their state revenue from the feds in fiscal 2016. In Montana it’s 40.6 percent, and in Wyoming, it’s 38.1 percent.

The national average for the federal share of state budgets is 32.6 percent. That’s the third-largest share on record, up from 31.9 percent in fiscal 2015, Pew says. Mississippi came out on top, at 43.3 percent.

The report says that growth in Medicaid grants to states under Obamacare has driven up the federal percentage of state revenue for three straight years.

Colorado has seen three straight years of growth in federal revenue share, from 27.8 percent in fiscal 2013 to 30.6 percent.

However, the state’s federal share was as high as 32.1 percent in fiscal 2011.

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.