clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Denver City Council approves sending scholarship initiative to voters

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock met with preschool families in 2014 before announcing his support for a tax increase for the Denver Preschool Program.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock met with preschool families in 2014 before announcing his support for a tax increase for the Denver Preschool Program.
Nic Garcia/Chalkbeat

The cost of college — and whether Denver city sales taxes should help offset it – will get a thorough airing this fall in the buildup to the November election.

Denver voters will decide whether to increase the city’s sales tax by 0.08 percent, raising $10 million a year to bankroll college scholarships and help students without scholarships repay their loans.

The City Council voted 8-4 on Monday night to send the measure to the all-mail ballot.

To qualify, students must be under 25, enroll in an in-state higher-education program, meet family income requirements and make satisfactory academic progress.

The measure has support from powerful quarters — Mayor Michael Hancock made it a centerpiece of his inauguration speech, and business and education leaders helped craft it. The business community is framing initiative 2A as a key economic development tool that will cost relatively little (8 cents on a $100 purchase).

But skeptics question whether subsidizing higher education should be the city’s business when other more traditional roles are going wanting, including fixing sidewalks and streets.

The COVID-19 outbreak is changing our daily reality

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit newsroom dedicated to providing the information families and educators need, but this kind of work isn't possible without your help.

Connect with your community

Find upcoming Colorado events