Education Policy Networking Series Kicks Off 2015-16 Season

“Assessing Denver’s Proposed Tax for Higher Education Scholarships” was the topic for the Sept. 15, 2015, Education Policy Networking Series event.

Denver’s City Council recently approved (by a vote of 8-4) a referred measure to be voted on by Denver citizens on November 3: the Denver College Affordability Fund. The proposal is to raise the city sales tax by 0.08 percent (less than a penny on a $10 purchase) for 10 years. This would raise about $11 million annually for scholarships.

The program would be income capped, and aimed at students who have lived in Denver for more than 3 years, are under 25 years of age, and would attend college in Colorado. The money would be managed by a city-funded nonprofit board and much of the funding would go to existing organizations that support scholarships. As with any such plans, there are many details about how to raise the tax funds, what individuals and organizations to support, as well as other impacts.

Panelists included:

  • Seth Belzley, Corporate and Energy Lawyer, Hogan Lovells
  • Mary Beth Susman, Denver City Council, District 5
  • Dustin Weeden, Policy Specialist, National Conference of State Legislatures

Dean Paul Teske served as the moderator.

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