Denver Challenge 2B: Homelessness gross sales tax


If accepted, Denver’s proposed gross sales tax to assist these experiencing homelessness would cost customers an additional 2.5 cents on each $10 buy. The measure would elevate a projected $40 million in its first yr. That cash must be spent on companies and different facilities for individuals experiencing homelessness like housing shelters, catalytic tasks and different packages.
The case for: The tax would offer sorely wanted money for individuals in Denver experiencing homelessness, stated sponsoring Metropolis Councilwoman Robin Kniech. The concept can be to spend money on “confirmed options” and scale them up. Making shelters extra engaging to these on the streets and offering a viable route out of the amenities and into steady housing would successfully dent town’s homeless inhabitants, which is growing yr over yr.
The case in opposition to: The tax would hit low-income residents the toughest, stated Ben Murrey, director of The Independence Institute’s Fiscal Coverage Heart. The continuing financial recession would exacerbate that concern as effectively, he stated. And the more cash metropolis officers use to fight homelessness, the more serious the issue has change into.
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Poll language: Shall Metropolis and County of Denver gross sales and use taxes be elevated by $40 million yearly, commencing January 1, 2021, and by no matter extra quantities are raised yearly thereafter, from a twenty-five one-hundredths of 1 p.c (0.25%) gross sales and use tax price (2.5 cents on a ten-dollar buy), that won’t be collected on meals for dwelling consumption, water, gasoline, medical provides or female hygiene merchandise, for use to fund housing, shelter or companies for individuals experiencing homelessness, together with, however not restricted to:
• Constructing housing, increasing rental help or offering supportive companies or different helps to accommodate individuals experiencing homelessness;
• Increasing the variety of shelter beds, enhancing entry for underserved populations, and offering higher well being and housing outcomes by 24-hour shelter and drop-in day companies equivalent to coronavirus prevention, psychological well being care, substance therapy, housing and employment counseling, and different companies; and
• Offering extra housing referrals and different companies to individuals dwelling on the streets or in automobiles to assist them exit homelessness;
And, in connection therewith, shall not more than eight p.c (8%) of the full annual revenues derived from the rise in gross sales and use tax be spent on metropolis administrative prices associated to the above functions; and shall the monies derived from the rise in gross sales and use tax not be used to offset any present income expenditures from the Common Fund; and shall the revenues from these elevated taxes be collected and spent in every fiscal yr by Denver with out regard to any expenditure, revenue-raising, or different limitation contained inside Article X, Part 20 of the Colorado Structure or every other legislation?


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