2:46pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Business

How Will The Sequester Play Out On Main Street, Colorado?

Colorado stands to lose an estimated $85 million if Congress and President Barack Obama don’t reach a deal by Friday.

The budget cuts - known as sequestration - would affect some Colorado public health programs, job search assistance and access to childcare. It could also result in furloughs for thousands of Department of Defense employees.

While state officials are concerned about losing funding for a variety of programs, some local governments are worried about how the uncertainty will impact consumer behavior and sales tax revenue.

“Does it make them nervous, what does it do?” asks Loveland Mayor Cecil Gutierrez. “So it could impact us because our citizens pull back on their spending, 80 percent of our income is on sales tax.”

Furloughs across Colorado could also hit cities where it hurts. According to current estimates, 12,000 Colorado civilian Department of Defense employees could be furloughed if a budget deal isn’t met. Army and Air Force operations in Colorado would also see $57 and $8 million in budget cuts respectively. An estimated 120 teacher and aid jobs are at risk.

Right now President Barack Obama is urging Congress to take action to avoid the across-the-board cuts. On Monday he said that Congress could keep them from happening with “just a little bit of compromise.”