A Denver Decides Ballot Issue Forum in anticipation of the general election coming up on Tuesday, November 3rd. Ballot Measure 2A reads in part: Shall City and County of Denver sales and use taxes be increased by $40 million annually, and by whatever additional amounts are raised annually thereafter, from a 0.25% sales and use tax rate (2.5 cents on a $10 purchase) with exemptions for food, water, fuel, medical supplies, and feminine hygiene products, to be used to fund programs to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and adapt to climate change?. Denver City Councilmember Jolon Clark speaks in favor of Ballot Measure 2A. And D.K. Williams former State Chairman and Legislative Director of the Libertarian Party of Colorado speaks against the ballot measure.
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"SHALL CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER SALES AND USE TAXES BE INCREASED BY $40 MILLION ANNUALLY, COMMENCING JANUARY 1, 2021, AND BY WHATEVER ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS ARE RAISED ANNUALLY THEREAFTER, FROM A TWENTY-FIVE ONE- HUNDREDTHS OF ONE PERCENT (0.25%) SALES AND USE TAX RATE (2.5 CENTS ON A TEN-DOLLAR PURCHASE) WITH EXEMPTIONS FOR FOOD, WATER, FUEL, MEDICAL SUPPLIES, AND FEMININE HYGIENE PRODUCTS, TO BE USED TO FUND PROGRAMS TO ELIMINATE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND AIR POLLUTION, AND ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE, INCLUDING:
JOB CREATION THROUGH LOCAL WORKFORCE TRAINING AND NEW CAREERS FOR UNDER-RESOURCED INDIVIDUALS IN RENEWABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES;
INCREASED INVESTMENTS IN SOLAR POWER, BATTERY STORAGE AND OTHER RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY;
NEIGHBORHOOD-BASED ENVIRONMENTAL AND CLIMATE JUSTICE PROGRAMS;
ADAPTATION AND RESILIENCY PROGRAMS THAT HELP VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES PREPARE FOR A CHANGING CLIMATE;
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES THAT PROVIDE AFFORDABLE, CLEAN, SAFE AND RELIABLE TRANSPORTATION CHOICES, LIKE WALKING, BIKING, TRANSIT, ELECTRIC VEHICLES, AND NEIGHBORHOOD-SCALE TRANSIT; AND
UPGRADE THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF HOMES, OFFICES AND INDUSTRY TO REDUCE THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT, UTILITY BILLS, AND INDOOR AIR POLLUTION;
THIS DEDICATED FUNDING SHOULD MAXIMIZE INVESTMENTS IN COMMUNITIES OF COLOR, UNDER RESOURCED COMMUNITIES, AND COMMUNITIES MOST VULNERABLE TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENDEAVOR TO INVEST 50% OF THE DEDICATED FUNDS DIRECTLY IN COMMUNITY WITH A STRONG LENS TOWARD EQUITY AND RACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE; THE SPENDING OF FUNDS WILL BE OVERSEEN BY THE OFFICE OF CLIMATE ACTION, SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCY AND THE CITIZEN'S SUSTAINABILITY COMMITTEE; ALL FUNDS WILL BE SUBJECT TO AN ANNUAL REPORT AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC REVIEW; AND REQUIRING THAT REVENUES FROM THESE INCREASED TAXES SHALL BE COLLECTED AND SPENT WITHOUT REGARD TO ANY EXPENDITURE, REVENUE-RAISING, OR OTHER LIMITATION CONTAINED WITHIN ARTICLE X, SECTION 20 OF THE COLORADO CONSTITUTION OR ANY OTHER LAW?"
"¿SE DEBERÍAN AUMENTAR LOS IMPUESTOS SOBRE LAS TRANSACCIONES Y EL USO DE LA CIUDAD Y EL CONDADO DE DENVER EN $40 MILLONES AL AÑO, A PARTIR DEL 1.º DE ENERO DE 2021, Y EN CUALQUIER CANTIDAD ADICIONAL EN QUE SE INCREMENTE ANUALMENTE A PARTIR DE VEINTICINCO CENTÉSIMAS DEL UNO POR CIENTO (0.25 %) DE LA TASA DE IMPUESTOS SOBRE LAS TRANSACCIONES Y EL USO (2.5 CENTAVOS EN UNA COMPRA DE DIEZ DÓLARES) CON EXENCIONES PARA ALIMENTOS, AGUA, COMBUSTIBLE, SUMINISTROS MÉDICOS Y PRODUCTOS DE HIGIENE FEMENINA, QUE SE UTILIZARÁN PARA FINANCIAR PROGRAMAS PARA ELIMINAR LAS EMISIONES DE GASES DE EFECTO INVERNADERO Y LA CONTAMINACIÓN DEL AIRE, Y ADAPTARSE AL CAMBIO CLIMÁTICO, INCLUIDO LO SIGUIENTE:
CREACIÓN DE EMPLEOS MEDIANTE LA CAPACITACIÓN DE LA FUERZA LABORAL LOCAL Y NUEVAS CARRERAS PARA PERSONAS DE ESCASOS RECURSOS EN TECNOLOGÍA DE ENERGÍA RENOVABLE Y LIMPIA Y GESTIÓN DE RECURSOS NATURALES;
MAYORES INVERSIONES EN ENERGÍA SOLAR, ALMACENAMIENTO DE BATERÍAS Y OTRAS TECNOLOGÍAS DE ENERGÍAS RENOVABLES;
PROGRAMAS DE JUSTICIA AMBIENTAL Y CLIMÁTICA CON BASE EN LOS VECINDARIOS;
PROGRAMAS DE ADAPTACIÓN Y RESILIENCIA QUE AYUDEN A COMUNIDADES VULNERABLES A PREPARARSE PARA UN CLIMA CAMBIANTE;
PROGRAMAS Y SERVICIOS QUE PROPORCIONEN OPCIONES DE TRANSPORTE ASEQUIBLES, LIMPIAS, SEGURAS Y CONFIABLES, COMO CAMINAR, ANDAR EN BICICLETA, TRANSPORTE, VEHÍCULOS ELÉCTRICOS Y TRÁNSITO A ESCALA DE VECINDARIO; Y
MEJORAR LA EFICIENCIA ENERGÉTICA DE HOGARES, OFICINAS E INDUSTRIA PARA REDUCIR EL IMPACTO ECOLÓGICO, LAS FACTURAS DE SERVICIOS PÚBLICOS Y LA CONTAMINACIÓN DEL AIRE INTERIOR;
¿ESTE FINANCIAMIENTO DEDICADO DEBERÍA MAXIMIZAR LAS INVERSIONES EN LAS COMUNIDADES DE COLOR, LAS COMUNIDADES CON ESCASOS RECURSOS Y LAS COMUNIDADES MÁS VULNERABLES AL CAMBIO CLIMÁTICO E INTENTAR INVERTIR EL 50 % DE LOS FONDOS DEDICADOS DIRECTAMENTE EN LA COMUNIDAD CON EL ENFOQUE PUESTO EN LA EQUIDAD Y JUSTICIA RACIAL Y SOCIAL; EL GASTO DE FONDOS SERÁ SUPERVISADO POR LA OFICINA DE ACCIÓN CLIMÁTICA, SUSTENTABILIDAD Y RESILIENCIA Y EL COMITÉ DE SUSTENTABILIDAD CIUDADANA; TODOS LOS FONDOS ESTARÁN SUJETOS A UN INFORME ANUAL DISPONIBLE PARA REVISIÓN PÚBLICA; Y SE REQUERIRÁ QUE LOS INGRESOS PROVENIENTES DEL AUMENTO DE ESTOS IMPUESTOS SE COBREN Y GASTEN SIN TOMAR EN CUENTA NINGÚN GASTO, AUMENTO DE INGRESOS O CUALQUIER OTRA LIMITACIÓN INCLUIDA EN EL ARTÍCULO X, SECCIÓN 20 DE LA CONSTITUCIÓN DE COLORADO O CUALQUIER OTRA LEY?"
We have a basic responsibility to leave a better world for our kids, but unchecked pollution is harming our health and our children today. Denver cannot wait. We must address climate change now and lead the nation in protecting our land and air. Low income communities and people of color are disproportionately harmed by climate change, with higher rates of asthma, more pollution and homes, streets, and landscapes that are less prepared for the impacts of climate change. Over the life of the fund, measure 2A would target 50% of the revenue raised back into these communities with a lens towards equity, race, and social justice. 2A would cost twenty-five cents on a $100 purchase and nearly 70% of the money raised will come from people who visit Denver. This is a very small price to pay to help Denver reduce air pollution and adapt to climate change, and many staples are exempt from the tax, including food, fuel, and hygiene products. The cost of inaction on climate change is far greater. Experts say that failing to act now to address climate change could cost Denver $20 billion over the next 30 years. 2A has strict financial accountability safeguards to ensure that all funds are spent as promised, including citizen oversight and a public financial and performance audit done annually. Now is the time to act to protect our air, water, land, and climate. Future generations of Denverites are counting on us, vote YES on 2A.
Cities Must Lead the Way to Minimize Climate Change Impacts. With the 2A Climate Protection Fund, Denver will retain its leadership role with other responsible cites to support actions and innovations needed to address the climate crisis. Charged by Mayor Hancock and Denver City Council to develop recommendations and funding options, a Climate Action Task Force with representatives from diverse communities and interests, submitted a consensus, in-depth analysis of the significant effects of climate change on the economy, human health and disparities to people of color and under-resourced communities. The recommendations in the report propose to build Denver back batter from the trifecta of crises caused by racial inequality, climate change and the coronavirus pandemic by interlacing recovery across these crises. The recommendations that would be supported by the 2A Climate Protection Fund would strengthen Denver’s efforts to address climate change equitably in these critical areas: Buildings, Transportation, Electricity Generation, Industrial Energy Use, Consumption Emissions and Resiliency/Climate Adaptation. The analysis and recommendations can be found by searching denvergov.org for “Climate Action Stakeholder Process.” Revenue is predicted to be about $36 million and will be managed by the Denver Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency. The Office will submit a five-year plan for the uses of the revenues within one year of adoption of this initiative. Costs of Climate Change Are Increasing and Should Not Be Kicked to the Next Generation. Climate Change is here. Without action now, the climate crisis impacts will be nearly unmanageable in just a few years.
BALLOT MEASURE 2A CLIMATE FUNDING
As a Denver citizen, do you consider the follow City services important?
1. Public safety – Police and fire
2. Road and bridge maintenance
3. Recreation centers
Denver elected officials are asking to increase your sales taxes for a new limited City program while cutting essential services like the ones listed above. Ballot Measure 2A would raise $40 million annually for programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, and adapt to climate change. While these programs may be meritorious, the benefits are decades in the future and their success is dependent upon massive decreases in greenhouse gas emissions by China and other nations.
A tax increase for climate change programs should wait until we have adequately restored funding for vital City public services such as those noted above. Ballot measure 2A makes neither sense nor cents.
Vote no on Ballot Measure 2A