on September 15, Mayor Michael Hancock It has announced a proposed $1.49 billion general funding budget for 2022, which coincides with the originally planned budget range for 2020 before the COVID pandemic wreaks havoc on Denver’s economy.
“This $1.49 billion budget is an important component of our long-term financial plan to build a sustainable and inclusive recovery. It is financially responsible, equitable, invests in our community, supports our local businesses and serves as a critical force to rebuild our country. That’s why the economy works for everyone,” Hancock said when explaining the budget.
As in previous years, one of the largest recipients of general funding money in the proposed budget is the Department of Public Safety, which includes the police, sheriff and fire department, with $567.67 million.
The general fund consists largely of revenues generated by the city through taxes and fees such as sales and use tax and property tax. When combined with general fund income with other funding sources the city has this year, for example: American Recovery Plan Act With money from private revenue funds, Denver projects a total operating budget of $2.6 billion for 2020, a 9 percent increase over the total operating budget in 2021.
The proposed $1.49 billion general fund budget for 2022 represents a 12 percent increase over the $1.33 billion general fund budget proposed and approved by Hancock. Denver City Council for 2021. The general fund budget of $1.485 billion, originally approved for 2020, has been reduced to $1.265 billion due to the pandemic.
Denver has assurances that it will receive a total of $308 million in American Recovery Plan Act funds from the federal government. So far, Denver has received a check for $154 million, with the next half of the money coming in 2022.
The 2022 budget proposal seeks to allocate $6.3 million in ARPA money “to support housing alternatives such as Safe Open Spaces, Safe Open Parking and small home villages, as well as to increase the number of quick rehousing/quick resolution services for homeless people”. “According to a statement from the mayor.
In its budget proposal, Hancock’s office also proposes spending $190 million on affordable housing, housing stability, and support for people experiencing homelessness.
While Denver’s economy is recovering in key areas, it still has some major problems.
For example, tenant and use tax on hotel stays remains below 2019 figures and will likely remain low due to the decline in tourism, according to Brendan Hanlon, the city’s chief financial officer.
While Denver has long been seen as a city with solid employment rates, it now struggles in this category.
“For the first time, at least in my experience, Denver really lags behind in terms of our unemployment rate relative to state and national unemployment rates,” Hanlon told reporters after the budget was announced. Said. July 2021 figures showed the national unemployment rate at 5.4 percent, compared to 6.1 percent for Colorado and 6.2 percent for Denver.
“One factor contributing to Denver County’s higher unemployment rate includes the higher concentration of the leisure and hospitality industry in Denver County, an industry that has been particularly impacted by the pandemic. For 2022, we assume employment continues to recession through the first period. But the public health situation “Full employment levels are expected as we move into the fourth quarter of the year.” It is included in the 2022 budget proposal.
Among other highlights of the budget proposal, Support Team Assisted Response (STAR) programa paramedic and social worker helping people in crisis on the streets of Denver and operating a mobile truck that is not owned by law enforcement; 10 million dollars for Central Library updatesJust over half of the $19 million the Denver Public Library needs to complete the planned renovation; and $3.5 million in capital expenditure for the restoration of the Civil Conservation Corps camp in Red Rocks. According to the mayor’s office, the New Deal-era barracks and campus will be “preserved and restored to serve Denver residents with programs ranging from workforce education to recreation.”
The budget proposal is subject to Denver City Council approval in November. Meanwhile, the parliament has the authority to change some budget items.
During his budget presentation, Hancock made a snapshot to lobby against Initiative 304, a November election measure. Denver Republican Party chair and money-financed Denver aims to reduce its sales tax from 4.81 percent to 4.5 percent.
Describing it as “a threat to everything”, Hancock said during his presentation, “I want to make this very clear. If it passes it will result in an immediate cut of up to $80 million from the budget.”
Denver’s November election will also include five measures in a bond package totaling $450 million. One of the ballots seeks permission to borrow $190 million for capital projects at the National Western Center, including a new arena; the other four focus on projects ranging from building new libraries to improving homeless housing options.