All the New Taxes and Fees Denverites Started Paying in 2019


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Championed by Denver City Council President Jolon Clark, the ballot measure has increased sales and use taxes by .25 percent, or about $45.94 million annually, to acquire additional land for parks, trails and open space and to pay for park improvements and maintenance. The measure passed by about 62 percent in November's midterm elections.

Residents in counties across the metro area, including Adams, Jefferson, Arapahoe, Douglas, Broomfield and Boulder counties, approved this initiative in November, which increases property taxes in the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District by $1.97 for each $100,000 of a property's valuation to offset financial problems the district has encountered because of TABOR.

Ordinance 300
This initiative barely squeaked by voters, who approved it by just over 51 percent in November. Initiative 300 increases the sales tax by .08 percent, or about a penny on every $10 purchase, to fund scholarships and educational support services, including academic counseling and tutoring, for Denver residents. The tax expires in twelve years.

Ordinance 301
Undoubtedly the most popular ballot initiative based on how many voters approved this measure — nearly 70 percent! — 301 increases the sales-tax rate by .25 percent to fund mental health services, substance abuse prevention and more.

Ordinance 302
Sales taxes have increased by about .08 percent for this initiative, or about $11.2 annually, to provide healthy food and food education to low-income and at-risk youth in Denver. The new Denver Food Commission will distribute the funds until 2029, when the tax increase expires.

Now for the good news: The Denver Public Library ended late fines on January 1, meaning customers will no longer be fined for overdue items. If something you've checked out from the library isn't returned fourteen days after its due date, a hold will be placed on your account. If it's 28 days late, the item will be considered lost, and you will have to pay a replacement fee. Fines generated about $110,339 in revenue in 2017. 
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Ana Campbell has been Westword's managing editor since 2016. She has worked at magazines and newspapers around the country, picking up a few awards along the way for her writing and editing. She grew up in south Texas.
Contact: Ana Campbell