Common Sense Institute found that Denver's newly passed sales tax will bring in $40 million to combat climate change, but it's not clear how it will fight it.
Proposition 2A passed during the Nov. 3 election by more than 62% with a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city. The ballot question asked city residents to increase the local sales tax by 0.25% from 8.31% to 8.56%.
Merchants will begin collecting the tax Jan. 1.
The study from the Denver-based think tank released Tuesday morning is called "New Spending in Denver to Reduce Greenhouse Gas and Adapt to Climate Change: Get It Right and Avoid Further Tax."
“If you live in Denver, your sales taxes are set to increase on Jan. 1; $40 million will be to fund yet-to-be-identified projects to address climate change and emission reductions,” said Chris Brown, the study's author and the institute's director of policy and research.
He said best practices were identified during the campaign based on experiences of other U.S. cities. The business-perspective analysis could provide a road map to employ those practices to "make the most of the new revenue.”
The report recommends the money go to "action," rather than new administration, by assigning city agencies and using existing revenue as much as possible "to produce clear reports that demonstrate results."
The city needs to live up to its intentions, but prioritizing areas of government that could reduce emissions to mitigate the impact to households and businesses, the report suggests.
"If the city adopts new regulations that impose new costs, funds from this new revenue should be made available in a way that offsets those new costs," the paper recommends.
You can read the full report by clicking here.