Mayor Hancock unveils $1.5 billion city budget proposal for 2022 – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-09-16 03:26:26 –

The Denver skyline can be seen from this 2020 photo drone-equipped camera. (((BizSense file).

Mayor Michael Hancock Announces $ 1.5 Billion City budget proposed in 2022 Wednesday, which shows Denver’s spending, is about the same as the city expected two years ago.

Hancock said Denver The economy is recovering after being financially hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are still some sectors where workers are not returning, and the entertainment and hospitality industries are lagging behind.

Prior to the pandemic, Denver’s estimated revenue in 2020 was approximately $ 1.49 billion. But by the end of the year, they came in for $ 1.2 billion, a savings of $ 211 million.

Mayor Michael Hancock

“This financially responsible budget keeps our recovery, supports thousands of new jobs and vocational training programs, stimulates the economy, keeps residents and neighbors safe, and vulnerable neighbors and residents. It will help us implement new programs to improve our service to, “Hancock said. .. “It does all this by investing in our people and putting their recovery first.”

Rodger taxes from hotels, motels and other accommodations are expected to be just over $ 21 million in 2021 and about $ 8 million, or 60% higher than in 2020. Although expected to rise slightly in 2022, Treasury officials will take some time to see more tourism.

According to Hancock, Denver has made significant investments in infrastructure and small businesses to bring more people back to work, with more than $ 200 million proposed for transportation and mobility, park and recreation, and urban facilities projects. It has been.

“There are still stubborn unemployment pockets between our city, especially the poorly serviced and colored communities,” Hancock said. “Therefore, it is unlikely that job creation will return to what it was two years ago without deliberate investment and effort.”

Hancock has proposed a 1% investment in a fund to support a “poorly serviced” community where bonded projects are worth more than $ 10 million. The fund is expected to reach $ 1.4 million by the end of 2022.

The city’s chief financial officer, Brendan Hanlon, said there are several sources of income for the city this year that are not included in the budget, such as plans and fate to use funds from the US Rescue Planning Act. For some bond measures totaling $ 450 million It will be voted in November.

The budget includes housing programs such as down payment assistance and homeless counseling, acquisition of hotel and motel rooms for homeless people, an increase in small hometown villages, and night parking for licensed camps and homeless people. Includes $ 190 million in space.

An additional $ 31.9 million has been proposed to the housing development team to help build or protect 900 income-restricted homes. The money comes from general funding, dedicated funds, and federal bailout programs. If approved by voters, an additional $ 39 million for housing assistance could come from the 2021 bond package.

The city wants to replenish its reserves, which was 18% of its general revenue before the pandemic and 12.4% at the time of the pandemic, and is projected to rise from 2022 revenues to 14.2%, Hanlon said. rice field.

Hanlon also said that a variant of COVID-19 could jeopardize the city’s finances in the event of another catastrophic surge in the near future.

“Our recovery is vulnerable and we are monitoring multiple factors that can affect us,” Hanlon said. “More people need to be vaccinated to give us absolute confidence that our recovery is on the right track. It may be related to additional public health restrictions. There is a risk, which is the last thing we can have economically, but with some uncertainty, especially when it comes to delta variants. “

The Denver Police’s overall budget was reduced by about $ 31 million in 2021, but is expected to recover to about $ 248 million in 2022, which is close to the amount in 2020. Statistics provided in the budget presentation show that crime of all kinds in Denver has increased over the last three years.

Hancock is also proposing to expand its support team support response program for an additional $ 1.4 million. It provides a response team for behavioral and mental health incidents on behalf of armed officers.

There was one voting initiative in which the mayor granted an exception during the budget announcement. Supported by Denver Republican Chair Garrett Flicker, Initiative 304 Limit Denver sales and usage tax to 4.5%. Currently it is 4.81%.

Also, if Denver voters approve a special tax, the total sales tax will be limited to 4.5%, and Hancock will have a devastating impact on the city’s economy and its recovery, and if voters pass, the budget He said it would bring about $ 81 million in “immediate savings.” In November.

“We need to understand this initiative, which the inhabitants are paying attention to and initiated by people outside the city government. This initiative is clearly more conservative … it brings expectations for the provision of services and the city. Is threatening everything that has been built over the years, “Hancock said. “We ask you to pay attention and pay attention … That initiative may be what we are planning. More details will be provided as needed.”

Calls and emails to Flicker were not returned immediately.

The city council must approve the budget on or before the fourth Monday of November after a series of hearings on the 2022 fiscal year budget.

Mayor Hancock unveils $1.5 billion city budget proposal for 2022 Source link Mayor Hancock unveils $1.5 billion city budget proposal for 2022

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