With slower economic growth, Denver’s government is getting slightly more frugal

There’ll be a little less discretionary spending, officials say.

The Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photos

Last week Denverite reported that the city government’s finance wizards are monitoring a local economy that continues to grow, but at a slower rate. It turns out officials have directed government departments to monitor discretionary spending as a precaution.

Travel and professional development are two things city workers may go without more often, according to Julie Smith, spokeswoman for the Denver Office of Budget and Management.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are asking departments to closely monitor any discretionary spending – such as travel and training,” Smith wrote in an email. “The goal is to take steps now to protect our financial health so that in the event this trend continues, we do not impact any services.”

Sales taxes fund about half of the city’s general budget. In the first quarter of 2019, sales tax revenue grew at a rate of 2.6 percent, compared to more than 8 percent over the same period last year, according to the city’s budget office. Officials had forecasted 5.5 percent growth.

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