Even some Republicans are considering changing Colorado’s most famous tax law. Here’s how.

HB 1187 would change how Colorado calculates revenue caps that TABOR imposes on state government and allow it to benefit from economic growth.

Under the status quo, Colorado is likely to have to refund some $279 million to taxpayers next year, even as state lawmakers hunt for money for roads and cut funding to local school districts.

A bill sponsored by two Republican lawmakers — state Rep. Dan Thurlow of Grand Junction and state Sen. Larry Crowder of Alamosa — would let the state keep an estimated $133 million of that next year, $209 million in the following fiscal year and perhaps more in future years by changing how the revenue cap imposed by Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights is calculated — provided the voters also agree in November.

District 55 Representative Dan Thurlow. The first day of the Colorado state legislative session. Jan 11, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) legislature; copolitics; politics; legislative session; capitol; kevinjbeaty; denver; denverite; colorado;
State Rep. Dan Thurlow, a Grand Junction Republican, says he supports TABOR but it needs updating. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)


Councilman Paul Lopez hopes subsidies for downtown Target could create precedent for grocery stores

Denver City Council voted Monday to do something the city doesn’t usually do: use its business incentive fund for a major retailer.

Rendering of a new Target store on the 16th Street Mall. (Courtesy of the city of Denver)
Rendering of a new Target store on the 16th Street Mall. (Courtesy of the city of Denver)

Denver City Council voted Monday to do something the city doesn’t usually do: use its business incentive fund for a major retailer, in this case a Target on the 16th Street Mall.

Councilwoman At-large Robin Kniech just couldn’t bring herself to vote for subsidizing a retailer offering mostly part-time, relatively low-paid jobs. In contrast, Councilman Paul Lopez was excited to subsidize a retail operation in the hopes that it creates a precedent for using incentives to lure grocery stores to food deserts like Montbello and Globeville-Elyria-Swansea.


What is HOPE? Erik Soliván seeds the mayor’s new strategy on housing and homelessness

Erik Soliván on a new approach to homelessness in Denver: “My role, being positioned within the mayor’s office, is … ‘How do we get past our silos?'”

Erik Soliván speaks before the Denver Commission on Homelessness on Feb. 27, 2017. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)
Erik Soliván speaks before the Denver Commission on Homelessness on Feb. 27, 2017. (Andrew Kenney/Denverite)

In 2004, John Hickenlooper, then the mayor of Denver, created an organization called Denver’s Road Home. Its goal, he said, was to end homelessness here by 2014. That didn’t happen, and the very idea plays now like a dark in-joke among bureaucrats and activists alike.

Still, Denver’s Road Home has remained the overarching brand for Denver’s homelessness relief programs well into Mayor Michael Hancock’s new administration — but it may not be for long.

Earlier this year, Hancock created the Office of HOPE and hired Erik Soliván, 37, to lead it. On Monday afternoon, we got a closer view of just what Solivàn has done in his first 49 days on the job and how this somewhat nebulous new program will operate.