Primary Season State Profile: Colorado

Published by Peter Lawrence on Monday, March 7, 2016 - 12:00am

In 2014, 13 percent of Colorado’s more than 5 million residents lived in poverty, including more than 17 percent of children. And while those levels are both about 2 percentage points lower than the national average, nearly 185,000 households in Colorado pay more than half their income on rent.


  • Presidential Caucus: March 1, 2016
  • Number of delegates: 37 Republican/79 Democratic
  • Allocation method: Closed caucus
  • 9 electoral votes
  • 2012 Results: President Obama won Colorado by 51 percent to 47 percent over Mitt Romney.

Tax Credit Usage in Colorado

In 2015, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority approved $270 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTCs) for 23 affordable rental housing developments. Twenty one of those were new construction and two were for rehabilitation of existing properties. Eight of the 23 LIHTC allocations in Colorado went to senior-focused developments and five were to developments catering to residents with special needs. To understand Colorado’s LIHTC priorities, the state’s qualified allocation plan (QAP) is here.

Blog Graph Snapshot: LIHTC Properties and Poverty Rates in Colorado
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The LIHTC, new markets tax credit (NMTC) and historic tax credit (HTC) have combined to assist in the addition of more than 50,000 jobs in Colorado. For other impacts the credits have had in the state, see the table below.

Blog Chart LIHTC, NMTC and HTC Use in Colorado
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Renewable Energy Landscape

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) reports that Colorado is a national leader in the wind energy industry, with at least 23 manufacturing facilities. The currently installed 2,992 MW of installed wind capacity ranks the state 10th in installed wind capacity and Colorado currently generates about 14 percent of its in-state electricity from wind power. In 2014, the wind energy industry in Colorado supported between 6,000 and 7,000 jobs, either directly or indirectly.

There was 67 MW of solar capacity installed in Colorado in 2014. The state ranked 13th nationally in 2014 installed solar capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The 430MW of solar energy currently installed in Colorado ranks the state 9th in the country in installed solar capacity. SEIA says several large retailers in Colorado have gone solar, including Walmart, Safeway and Ikea. Ikea has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 1120 kW of solar capacity at their location in Centennial. There are currently more than 388 solar companies at work in Colorado, employing 4,200 people.