Denver would like to keep the money raised by the tax for preschool programs

Denver voters will see a request on their November ballots to allow the city to keep money raised by the 0.15 percent sales tax for preschool programs.

More precisely, the city wants to keep the money raised by a 0.03 percent increase in that tax — it was 0.12 percent before — that voters approved in 2014. Because of how well the economy is doing, the tax has raised more money than expected.

The city would like to keep the money instead of finding a way to refund it to taxpayers. Under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, Denver needs voter approval to keep the money. During the recession, when tax revenues were lower, the city had to reduce the subsidy and not fund the program during the summer to make up for lost revenue. The city has since restored the full benefit.

The tax pays for the Denver Preschool Program, which subsidizes the cost of preschool for low- and middle-income families at qualifying preschools in the last year before kindergarten.

This measure is referred from the Denver City Council, which voted Monday to place it on the ballot.

 

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, emeltzer@denverite.com or @meltzere.