“Denver, like most American cities, has a lot of infrastructure debt that future generations, and urban dwellers in particular, are going to get stuck with the bill for maintaining and paying off. Perhaps more surprising, though, is just how many seemingly-wealthy suburban neighborhoods aren’t capable of covering the cost of their own infrastructure.
By far, the largest portion of a Denverite’s taxes goes to infrastructure (34%), and in an America that is addicted to traveling by cars and to the single family homes that require them, who is actually paying for these roads, sewer pumps, water lines, parking garages, storm water systems, parks, libraries, firehouses, and sidewalks extending into far-flung suburban neighborhoods?
While the costs for all of these pieces of infrastructure are relatively constant (a mile of road costs the same in one corner of the city as it does in another), the property tax is directly proportional to value. This property tax (20% of Denver’s revenue) combined with sales tax spent in Denver (34% of revenue), “Charges for Services” (20% of revenue), Operating Grants (9%), and Lodging Tax (5% – a 10.75% tax on AirBnBs and hotels) make up the lion’s share of Denver’s revenue (88%).”
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Meyer, Logan. Strong Towns 24 January 2019.