DENVER (CBS4) – Denver residents will be able to vote on a new retail sales tax that would be used to fund services for people experiencing homelessness. On Monday night, Denver City Council voted unanimously to put the sales tax initiative on the ballot.

The .25% tax would fund the Homelessness Resolution Program for housing and other services. That would cost an average household about $5.25 a month. If approved, the tax would go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Councilwoman Robin Kniech introduced the proposal. She admitted it’s not perfect, but said it’s a start.

“I get asked all the time, ‘What can this money achieve? does anything even work?’ And the interesting about this topic is that the success is 100% invisible,” said Kniech. “Every time we house someone, our community can’t see it because they’re living in apartments, in a home, maybe a transitional housing unit… they are not visible to us anymore.”

22nd and Champa streets, Tuesday, Aug. 25 (credit: CBS)

The Downtown Denver Partnership issued a statement Tuesday in support of the proposed sales tax. They expect the tax would generate an estimated $40 million annually.

The DDP says the money would used for building housing and expanding rental assistance; expanding the number of shelter beds and access to 24-hour shelters and services; and providing more housing referrals and other supportive services to people living on the street.

“We believe this proposal is a key piece of the puzzle in our city’s continued efforts to address homelessness,” said Tami Door, President and CEO of the DDP.

The ordinance will be on the ballot in the special municipal election on Nov. 3.

On Tuesday morning, Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure cleaned up a homeless encampment on 22nd Street, between Broadway and Stout Street.

Comments (4)
  1. James M says:

    Of course the Downtown Denver Partnership supports this initiative. They want the campers off the 16th Street Mall, where Tami Door works. This initiative will bring MORE homeless to Denver, off the Platte River and the surrounding are and into free housing. You people are killing a once great city. Stop feeding the homeless, stop housing them, no more free I-phones, no more free clothing, no more free Uber, no more free medical & dental, no more free anything. They make no positive contribution to society other than make Denver a cess pool. You think that more tax money is going to solve the problem? It will only aggravate an already terrible situation you have allowed to happen since Hickenlooper started this whole mess.

  2. Soph Pinella says:

    Absolutely not. No more for homeless “services.” Not a penny more. I have been liberal leaning all my life- might be switching parties at this point. I don’t want clean needle exchanges, I don’t want 12 felons in the house next to me (new group living zoning changes coming!) and I don’t want open encampments. This used to be such a safe, beautiful city. I’m so disgusted. Kneich and CdBaca should be recalled. Our streets aren’t even safe in broad daylight now.

    1. soph pinella says:

      And now we’re putting PIT BULLS on th November ballot? I’m cashing out before my home value plummets.

  3. Jay says:

    So they are going to pay to have the new homeless shelters and halfway houses that are going to be put up in neighborhoods. Surround your self with the best of quality of life i see. How about arresting them, serve a healthy meal that is disgusting while incarcerated and then buy them a bus ticket out of the state. Instead you are encouraging more to come to the city. Also many people will not pay much on this tax because a lot of people go outside Denver city limits for retail purchases.

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