Denver voters approve city tax measures

Ballot results from November election

Staff Report
Posted 12/6/18

Denver saw high voter turnout this year as all local ballot measures were approved. On Election Day, a record 112,900 people turned in ballots, according to data from the Denver Elections Division. …

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Denver voters approve city tax measures

Ballot results from November election

Posted

Denver saw high voter turnout this year as all local ballot measures were approved.

On Election Day, a record 112,900 people turned in ballots, according to data from the Denver Elections Division. The length of the ballot meant that officials with the city processed nearly 1 million pieces of paper as the counts went on through November.

Denver voters approved all ballot items that will raise the sales tax in the county. The four ballot measures will raise the city sales tax to 4.31 percent starting next year. This does not include any state or federal sales tax numbers. The city will bring in an estimated additional $115 million in revenue with the new sales tax initiatives.

This year’s ballot items will raise money for Denver parks, mental health services, college scholarships and healthy food programming in schools.

Denver voters also approved Democracy for the People with 70.7 percent of the votes (201,575). The measure will change the way people donate to campaigns, creating a matching fund in the city budget.

The Denver Elections Division received 312,712 ballots this year, just over 74 percent of the number of voters registered in the county. The canvas for the General Election was completed on Nov. 20.

In Denver, about 51 percent of ballots (160,462) turned in this year came from registered Democrats, followed by 34 percent unaffiliated voters (106,648) and 13 percent registered Republicans (40,864).

Here are results for Denver ballot items:

Denver College Affordability Fund (Initiative 300)

This initiative will increase taxes by .08 percent, or 8 cents per $100, to raise nearly $14 million for scholarships in Denver. The scholarships will be awarded to Denver residents with financial need that will be attending an accredited Colorado institution.

Yes: 51.9 percent (152,011)

No: 48.1 percent (141,099)

Caring for Denver (Initiative 301)

This initiative will raise the sales tax by .25 percent, or 25 cents per $100. It will bring in an additional $45 million for mental health services in Denver. Ten percent of those funds will go toward training city officials in mental health awareness. Another 10 percent will go toward alternatives to jail for those with mental health needs.

Yes: 69.5 percent (206,032)

No: 30.5 percent (90,382)

Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids

(Initiative 302)

This initiative will raise taxes by .08 percent, or 8 cents per $100. It will raise $11.5 million annually for healthy food programming and education services for schools. The program will focus on low-income and at-risk youth.

Yes: 59 percent (172,812)

No: 41 percent (118,762)

Supporting Our Park System

(Referred Measure 2A)

This measure will increase sales tax by .25 percent, or 25 cents per $100, to raise $45 million for parks maintenance.

Yes: 62 percent (181,222)

No: 39 percent (111,661)

Initiative Requirements

(Referred Measure 2B)

This initiative changes how items are added to the ballot. In order for an issue to be put on the ballot it first needs to be approved by both Denver City Council and the Denver Elections Division. Once approved, organizers need to collect signatures equaling 2 percent of the number of active registered voters from the start of the most recent odd-numbered year.

Yes: 58 percent (159,591)

No: 42 percent (115,972)

Democracy for the People

(Referred Measure 2E)

Democracy for the People is a ballot measure that will change the way campaign donations are done. It will lower the amount people can donate to campaigns based on the position. It would also create a “Fair Elections Fund,” where the city would match donations to candidates that agree to specific fundraising terms. The fund would total $2 million per election year.

Yes: 70.7 percent (201,575)

No: 29.3 percent (83,758)

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