Denver City Council Considers Climate Tax Bill for November 2019 Ballot

August 19, 2019

On Tuesday, August 13th, Denver City Council’s Finance & Governance Committee (FINGOV) voted 4 (Council members Cdebaca, Hinds, Clark, Gilmore) to 3 (Council members Black, Ortega, Kniech) to take two climate change-related bills to the full city legislature. If approved by City Council, both measures will appear on the November 2019 ballot. The first bill establishes an excise tax on electricity and natural gas for industrial and commercial users, and the second would create an Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency. The measures will go to Council for a first reading on Monday, August 19th, followed by a second reading and vote on Monday, August 26th.

Just as FINGOV was called into session, Mayor Hancock issued the attached letter outlining his concerns about the lack of process and community engagement. In his letter, the Mayor calls for City Council to reconsider pushing these bills through to the ballot in haste and, instead, work in lockstep with the Mayor’s Office on creating swift and impactful programs and initiatives while following a sufficient community engagement process.

The Partnership shares Mayor Hancock’s concerns regarding a clear lack of process. We firmly believe in transparency and adequate community and stakeholder engagement – yesterday’s hearing made it clear that these bills have been developed with little community engagement.

As these measures proceed through Council, the Partnership will continue to work with our partners to identify appropriate next steps and calls to action. We will continue to keep you updated.

In advance on Monday’s City Council meeting, please consider contacting your Council representative and emailing all of Council to express concerns and ask questions.