Voters may approve Denver keeping excess $1.3 million for homelessness programs and initiatives

The excess $1.3 million came from a sales tax increase approved in 2020.
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Beds in Sinton’s Sanctuary, the shelter for senior women at the Volunteers of America building on Santa Fe Drive in Denver’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Aug. 14, 2020.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Some $1.3 million that came from an approved 2020 sales tax aimed may stay in Denver's coffers for projects and initiatives for those experiencing homelessness.

Referred Question 2K had about 70% support from voters, according to early unofficial vote results released at 11:30 p.m.

Voters approved a .25% sales tax increase in 2020 called the Homelessness Resolution Sales Tax. The increase equaled out to about 2.5 cents on every $10 spent and was expected to bring in $40 million in the first year.

Initially, the tax revenue was not expected to meet its goal due to the pandemic's economic impact, but it exceeded expectations, raising $41.3 million, an excess of $1.3 million.

The funding is used by the Homelessness Resolution team, which is run by the Department of Housing and Stability. The funding has been used for projects including shelter services, support services, case management, housing construction and pandemic responses.

Because of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, the city is required to refund that additional $1.3 million or ask voters for permission to keep the money.

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