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Denver Ballot Issue 2A Increase Sales Tax to Support Climate Change Efforts

Referred Measure 2A: Increase Sales Tax to Support Climate Change EffortsTitle: An ordinance increasing the sales and use tax by a rate of 0.25 percent and dedicating the revenue derived from the tax rate increase to fund efforts to eliminate eight greenhouse gases and air pollution, and to adapt to climate change.Background: Climate change is a serious problem resulting in more extreme weather, sea level rise, and increased wildfire events. This measure seeks to make Denver a leader in greenhouse gas reduction efforts and resiliency amid change. This was originally brought forward as a citizen initiative, but supporters agreed to withdraw the initiative and work with City Council and other stakeholders to develop a different proposal that the Council could support. This resulted in referred measure 2A. This tax is expected to raise approximately $40 million in the first year.Major Provisions: Provides for a 0.25% sales tax increase to fund climate change efforts (2.5 cents on a $10 purchase). Money raised will go to:improving tree canopychanging building codes to promote energy efficiency and low waste constructionretrofitting existing buildingsreconfiguring streets to encourage bike and pedestrian useproviding electric charging stationsprioritizing transitrequiring volume-based fees for waste collectionincentivizing composting and recyclingworking with Xcel Energy to create a carbon free Denver by 2040

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  • Yes - For the Measure

  • No - Against the Measure

Those in favor say: • Climate change is a serious problem that must be addressed.

• Addressing climate change now is costly, but costs will increase if we delay.

• Although the federal government is the best place to address climate change, they have abdicated their role. This measure will make Denver a leader in climate change efforts.

Proponents: Denver Climate Action Task Force
Those opposed say: - A sales tax is the wrong way to fund this effort. The sales tax does not change behavior as would be the case with a tax on energy consumption.

- Sales taxes are regressive by their nature.

- This is a national or global problem. These efforts will be costly in Denver while having a minimal effect on climate.

Opponents: No known organized opposition. One Council member (Kevin Flynn) voted no on referring this measure. His opposition was based on the use of the sales tax as opposed to another form of revenue.