DENVER — The city is asking voters to pass four questions on this elections ballot… one, 2C is the one most will find a bit confusing. The measure asking for voters to increase the city’s debt by up to $778,000,000 and indefinitely extend a 1.75 percent tourism tax. These actions would finance tourism-related projects… including the National Western Complex and the Colorado Convention Center.
“Many have a problem with this measure because there is no sunset to the tax,” said Mike Krause with the Independence Institute. “Once the debt is paid off the city will be able to continue collecting lodging and rental car taxes.”
But the Mayor says, passage is critical to making improvements in and around the Stock Show.
“We know the funds will help pay for renovating the National Western, help CSU set up an extension campus dealing with Agri-business, get money to make improvements to the Colorado Convention Center, fund new arts projects and set up a year-round farmers market at the National Western,” says Michael Hancock.
But former city councilor, Susan Barnes-Gelt says, “I love the Stock Show, but the question is, who will pay for any shortfall, if the project goes over budget?” She says taxpayers will be on the hook.
“If they need more let them float another bond!” said Krause.
Some even question why the city would open up a farmers market to compete with private grocery stores, but the Mayor says this measure will allow for needed improvements and development sorely needed around the Stock Show.
With Tabor prohibiting creating new taxes without going to the voters, the big question for some is what happens to money which comes in after the debt has been retired?
Ballots are on their way to your home if you are a Denver voter.