Structural Financial Taskforce

Overview of the Effort

The task force has been charged with achieving the following goals:

  • Learn about the City’s revenues, expenditures and tax burden.
  • Challenge and validate Denver’s thirty year expenditure and revenue forecasts identifying a structural budget gap.
  • Generate and vet expenditure and revenue ideas that could solve the structural gap.
  • Recommend to the City a package of options that will solve the structural gap.

 

Two Distinct Issues

In the past, budget deficits have been caused by cyclical recessions, such as in the early 2000’s and in the last three years.  These have been solved with expenditure reductions, some temporary in nature and some service cuts, until revenues recover.  However, this recession has been so severe that we are expecting another deficit to solve in 2012.  This is primarily due to continued slow revenue growth on a significantly reduced base.  There is some question as to whether this revenue base will ever fully recover.  

Separate from cyclical recessions, a structural deficit between revenues and expenditures has been growing over the last decade.  It is being caused by:

  • A changing economy, spending habits, and demographics that are causing revenues to grow at slower rates, especially in the last 10 years
  • Pressures on expenditures, such as health care costs, that prevent the reduction of on-going costs without impacts on services. Expenditure growth does not include expansion of existing services or addition of new services (ex. composting).

 
This Task Force will primarily be addressing the structural budget deficit that would have been an issue even if there had not been a recession.

 

Task Force Members

  • Denis Berckefeldt, Director of Communications, Office of the Auditor, CCD
  • Wayne Cauthen, Former Chief of Staff to Former Mayor Wellington Webb, City and County of Denver
  • Rob Cohen, Chairman & CEO, IMA Financial Group, Inc.
  • Eric Duran, Vice President, Public Finance, Investment Banking, D.A. Davidson & Co.
  • Lindy Eichenbaum Lent, Executive Director, Civic Center Conservancy
  • Jack Finlaw, Chief Legal Counsel, Office of Governor John Hickenlooper
  • Albert C. Gonzales, President, Gonzales Consulting Services, Inc.
  • Gloria Higgins, President, Genspring – Denver Office
  • Cary Kennedy, CFO, City and County of Denver 
  • Richard Lewis, President & CEO, RTL Networks, Inc.
  • David Miller, President & CEO, The Denver Foundation
  • Chris Nevitt, City Council President
  • Rick Pederson, Partner, Bow River Capital Partners
  • Lisa Roy, Executive Director, Timothy & Bernadette Marquez Foundation
  • Ed Scholz, Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

 

Presentations and Upcoming Meetings

  • Introduction and Revenue History - Presented to General Government and Finance Council Committee on 2/23/11.
  • Expenditure History - Presented to General Government and Finance Council Committee on 3/23/11 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Revenue and  Expenditure Projections - Presented at the Task Force Meeting on April 6, 3 p.m to 5 p.m., Location: Colorado Convention Center.  Presented to General Government and Financial Council Committee on 4/13/11 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Recent Expenditure Changes: 2009 - 2011 and Expenditure Reduction Ideas - Presented at the Task Force Meeting on May 13. 2011 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m,, Location: Central - Denver Public Library, 10 W. Fourteenth Avenue Parkway, 80204, Conference Room  B2.  Recent Expenditure ChangesCompensation and Benefit Ideas, Efficiency Ideas, and Program/Service Ideas presented to General Government and Financial Council Committees on 5/25/11 at 10:30 a.m.
  • Tax Burden and Revenue Options  - Presented at the Task Force Meeting on June 17, 2011, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Location: Wellington Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80202, 1st floor conference room located in the Clerk and Recorder's Office.
  • Reviewed and Evaluated Proposals at the Task Force Meeting on July 25, 2011, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Location:  City and County Building, 1435 Bannock Street, Parr-Widener Conference Room, #389, Denver, CO 80202.
  • Reviewed and Evaluated Proposals - Task Force Meeting on August 31, 2011, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Location:  City and County Building, 1435 Bannock Street, Parr-Widener Conference Room, #389, Denver, CO 80202.
  • Reviewed and Evaluated Proposals - Task Force Meeting on September 22, 2011, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Location: Wellington Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80202, 1st floor, conference room 1.D.1.
  • Review and Evaluate Proposals -  Task Force Meeting on October 21, 2011, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Location: Wellington Webb Municipal Office Building, 201 W. Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80202, 1st floor, conference room 1.D.1.  Denver Health Authority and Denver Human Services made presentations at the meeting, DHA Presentation and DHS Presentation.
  • Report and Presentation Release - Task Force Meeting on January 23, 2012, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Location:  City and County Building, 1435 Bannock Street, Parr-Widener Conference Room, #389, Denver, CO 80202.

Questions and Suggestions

Please send your questions and/or suggestions to SFTF@denvergov.org.

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