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Denver voters approve new tax for homelessness aid

Denver ballot measure 2B asked voters to approve a sales-and-use tax increase to fund housing, shelter and services for people experiencing homelessness.
Credit: FILE
A picture of a homeless encampment in Denver in 2020.

DENVER — Denver voters have approved a 0.25 percent sales tax increase to pay for aid and resources for the city’s homeless population.

According to the city’s official election results, 64 percent of voters approved the measure, which creates a new “Homelessness Resolution Fund.” This will be used by Denver’s Department of Housing Stability (HOST) to provide housing and services, bolster shelter capacity, and offer mental health services to people experiencing homelessness.

Mayor Michael Hancock lauded the vote in a news release, saying “the vote is a game changer in our efforts to support residents experiencing homelessness.”

In 2021, HOST said it expects to use the fund approved by 2B to set up programs for people experiencing homelessness and to connect people with housing.

Proponents of Initiative 2B said it will cost the average household around $5.25 per month, and will generate $40 million per year for the next 10 years.

The tax would not be collected on groceries, water, fuel, medical supplies or feminine hygiene products.

Revenue in 2021 is projected to be lower than expected due to the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, Denver voters opted not to overturn the city’s controversial urban camping ban. 

Recently, the city has made headlines for homeless sweeps from large camps near the state Capitol and in the surrounding neighborhood. 

RELATED: 2 Safe Outdoor Spaces for people experiencing homelessness planned for Cap Hill

RELATED: NIMBYism is complicating search for Denver’s first managed homeless camp

See full election coverage from 9NEWS at 9NEWS.com/elections.




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