DENVER — Mayor Michael Hancock submitted his 2022 budget proposal to City Council on Wednesday, comprised of $1.49 billion to be spent primarily on infrastructure, employment, housing and safety projects.
The $1.49 billion budget is a 12% increase from the city’s budget in 2021, and a return to the $1.49 billion projected budget for 2020. Due to economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020’s revenue only reached $1.2 billion and 2021 is projected to hit $1.3 billion.
“Working together with our community, the city and county of Denver is emerging from the worst public health and economic crisis in our lifetime,” Hancock said. “Denver has proven we are a resilient and very vibrant city.”
Chief Financial Officer Brendan Hanlon said Denver is returning to 2020 levels of spending thanks to federal financial support and recovery in the city’s revenue streams.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging on, Hanlon said Denver’s sales and use tax and consumer spending are on the rise, and unemployment is down. However, the recovery of industries like tourism and hospitality are fragile, especially with the recent spread of the delta variant of COVID-19.
In addition to the $1.49 billion, Denver will receive funds in 2022 from its $308 million share of the American Rescue Plan Act and additional federal funding expected from President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better infrastructure plan. If approved by voters in November, the city will also receive a $450 million bond for Hancock’s infrastructure package.
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