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Denver Launches Taxpayer Receipt to Show Residents Where and How their City Taxes are Spent

The Denver Department of Finance today launched a new Taxpayer Receipt tool on its website to inform residents how their local sales and property taxes are allocated across services provided by the city.

“Our goal as a department is to make the city’s finances as transparent and accessible as possible and to be good stewards of taxpayer money. The new taxpayer receipt is an additional tool to make the city’s budget more transparent and to educate residents on how and where their money is spent,” said Chief Financial Officer Brendan Hanlon. “We are all accustomed to getting a receipt when we spend money on just about everything else, so why not get a receipt when you pay your city taxes?”

The Denver Taxpayer Receipt, which is available in English and Spanish, shows how a resident’s estimated local sales and property taxes support budgeted services provided by the City and County of Denver in 2017. Users must enter their income, age, best guess as to the percentage of goods and products they purchase in Denver, and whether they own their home to see an itemized receipt of how each tax dollar is utilized by the city for affordable housing, capital projects, public safety and more.

Services and programs that are exclusively supported by non-local tax dollars, such as federal or state grants, do not appear on the receipt. Additionally, taxes paid that support other entities, such as the state/federal governments and Denver Public Schools, are excluded. The Taxpayer Receipt calculates the property taxes residents pay in support of City and County of Denver services by multiplying the assessed value of a resident’s home, as reported by the Denver Assessor’s website, by the city’s calculated mill levy rates.

The Department of Finance website provides a variety of financial documents and reports, as well as information about business and property taxes, property assessments, and county motor vehicle functions, among other resources. The Transparent Denver site allows visitors to search for city contracts, review the city’s investment and debt portfolios, and examine the city’s payment transactions in the Open Checkbook feature.