Denver City Council To Consider College Affordability Measure For Ballot

The Denver City Council will consider whether to seek a sales tax hike for college scholarships Monday night. But the possible November ballot issue is getting push back inside the Council.

The measure would ask voters to approve a .08 percent sales tax increase to create the Denver College Affordability Fund. The fund would reimburse nonprofits that provide financial assistance to Denver college students.

“When you talk to students, the number one issue they're struggling to go to college, it's financial, said Council president Chris Herndon, who is carrying the bill. "And when you have the weight of several thousand dollars of debt, how does that impact you as a student?”

But Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman doesn't like the idea of Denver tax dollars going to support colleges and universities over which the city has no control.

“They will have no accountability or responsibility related to the tuition dollars that they receive,” Susman said.

Herndon says the bill does have accountability mechanisms in place. The measure must receive council approval by the end of the month to make it onto the ballot.