Why you should care about those 4B campaign signs in metro Denver

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DENVER -- The campaign signs are popping up everywhere it seems in metro Denver. Not for presidential or senate candidates but  for an issue known as 4B.

The measure funds the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, which has been around nearly 30 years. The sales tax costs about a penny for every $10 spent and helps art venues throughout the seven-county metro area.

Residents in Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson counties expect to see the measure on the ballot.

The measure is not seeking to increase taxes but merely reauthorize the current one. If approved, it would keep the tax in place through 2030.

Some of the venues that receive money include smaller places like Museo de las Americas and large venues like the Denver Zoo, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens.

"If we didn't have this support  you can kind of run the numbers and see most organizations would be forced into dramatically revamping their whole organizations," said Brian Vogt, CEO of the Botanical Gardens.

While the measure is receiving widespread praise, some are critical, including Jon Caldara with the Independence Institute. Caldara fears this measure makes museums too reliant on taxpayers.

"You are forcing poorer people in the Denver metro area to subsidize rich guys to go to the symphony and walk around the Botanic Gardens," Caldara said.

Vogt disagrees with that assessment, suggesting we should make an effort to preserve affordable art venues.

"This is really the core of civilization, this is what we are going to be judged by in the years ahead," Vogt said.

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