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Don’t vote for Ordinance 300 to fund epidemic research.

Don't vote for Ordinance 300 to fund epidemic research.

There are many difficult questions in this choice on the Denver Belt, but Ordinance 300 is not one of them.

The question is simple – should cannabis sales taxes be raised in the city for epidemic research at the University of Colorado Denver? The answer is no.

This request is outside the proper use of local sales tax, especially a sin tax that is limited to a single product but only when it is sold in Denver. We are not saying that the cannabis tax cannot be increased in Denver, but the link between city services and the taxed product needs to be very close.

Voters should not ask for Ordinance 300 in favor of saving valuable local tax dollars for things that need to be resolved locally.

Epidemiological research should be funded by the federal government in the country’s top research institutes. Currently, the US federal government is investing billions of dollars in epidemiological research and the country’s top doctors and scientists are working tirelessly to develop antiviral drugs, air circulation and the benefits of masks, and COVID-19 Policy Denver taxpayers, who are already paying for federal efforts, do not need to replicate these efforts with significantly smaller contributions.

Ordinance 300 will increase the sales tax on cannabis products sold in Denver from 5.5% to 7%, generating ڈالر 7 million in annual revenue. The money raised will not go to the city of Denver, but to the University of Colorado Denver City Center.

The expertise of this group is not infectious diseases.

City Center’s past projects include Centers for Traffic Awareness and Signalization Optimization Study, Building Feasibility Study for the School of Theology, Trail Design and Preservation of Historic Buildings for Central City, and other urban development efforts.

This is not the right place for a scientifically based research fund, especially not a recurring annual investment. If the city center has a specific, narrow-minded project related to epidemics, it wants to ask for funding from the city – for example researching the best ventilation system to prevent a super-spreader event at a special Denver cultural facility. ۔ Its advantages, as Denver City Council will do during its annual budgeting process.

City Center Executive Director Nolbert Chavez will be able to manage such a program, but will likely need to hire outside experts to build a research team. Chavez is not taking a position on the ballot question, but has told the Post how the city center will handle it if voters decide to pass Ordinance 300.

“This will be the cornerstone of our research. If these voters decide, it will enable us to hire experts from all over the world.”

We may find out in a year that cities need to fund their epidemiological research as COVID-19 stubbornly changes our daily lives, but a steady stream of dedicated revenue is premature. ۔

No more than 8% of the funds will be spent on managing the city center’s research projects. 75% will be used to fund research into personal protective equipment. Disinfection and sterilization technology and design features of physical spaces. The remaining 25% will be used for public policy and planning research.

We have warned voters against raising other taxes that keep money out of city services. We wrote in opposition to the four ballot questions in 2018 that this is a “slippery slope trend” we are seeing on the Denver Belt this year, where the four proposed sales tax increases would generate 115 million annually. Go straight to specific reasons, some of which seem out of place in the general functioning of the city government.

We urge Denver voters to reject Ordinance 300 and avoid the possibility of raising cannabis taxes for real local needs.

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