2017 Annual ReportDear Stakeholder,

2017 was a remarkable year for Common Sense Policy Roundtable (CSPR). Simply put, we achieved our mission to research and promote common sense solutions for economic issues facing Colorado. You share in each of our milestone accomplishments, and we thank you for your support, your contribution, and your belief in our mission.

Along with our REMI partners, Colorado Concern, the Colorado Association of Realtors and the Denver South Economic Development Partnership, we engaged in some of the most pressing issues affecting our state. And most importantly, we made a difference.

The debate over affordable housing was perhaps the most salient example of us making an impact. For several years, the issue dominated the attention of state lawmakers – and with good reason. With one of the tightest housing markets in the country, Colorado has consistently ranked among the worst in the nation for first time homebuyers.

In 2017, lawmakers were forced to resolve the crisis or face major economic repercussions. CSPR issued “Restrictions on the Supply of Affordable, Entry-Level Housing in Colorado,” to address the housing crunch.

While some argued less supply and higher demand is good for the state because it creates higher prices, our model simulations did not support that. We found that just a 1% increase in housing costs in 2017 would lead to a decrease of $322 million in Coloradans’ real disposable income in the first year because of less migration, less employment, and higher inflation. In other words: Lack of affordable housing is a losing proposition for Colorado.

These fact-based findings caught the attention of business leaders, homebuyers, and legislators, and the study provided a valuable resource to those debating the highly contentious issue of construction defects liability. Late in the legislative session, lawmakers reached a resolution and passed legislation to address the issue. The change in policy is already resulting in new affordable housing options.

In addition to affordable housing and construction defects policy, CSPR generated studies and issued papers on a range of topics, including the state budget, energy, and taxes. In each of these areas, CSPR made lasting impact and achieved measurable results. In addition to policy impacts, 2017 was a significant achievement for CSPR in terms of growth. We added board members and grew our collective expertise.

In September, we added a full-time policy director, Chris Brown, to our staff. Chris has a wealth of experience in economic modeling and public policy. His addition has significantly expanded our capacity to issue studies and provide commentary and analysis on a wide range of issues.

In 2018, we hope to surpass our 2017 success. This is a critical time in Colorado, and the issues facing our state will challenge our analytical capabilities and require innovative, thoughtful, and common sense public policy.

State Infrastructure, the PERA deficit, education, energy policy, and growth are all issues we will address in 2018. As CSPR analyzes these and other issues, we will continue to partner with others to effectively share our results.

Thank you for your ongoing support. The future of Colorado is bright. To maintain and grow our robust economy, we owe it to ourselves and the people of this great state to offer fact-based research, thoughtful conversations, and sound fiscal policy. We look forward to the continued fulfillment of our mission.

Earl L. Wright
Chairman of the Board

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