Bipartisan Support for Arts, Science & Culture

(April 13) – The House gave a strong voice-vote approval to a bill by Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst to ask voters in November to reauthorize and improve the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD).

“The SCFD is a nationally acclaimed voter-supported funding model for arts, culture and science,” said Speaker Hullinghorst, D-Boulder, who sponsored the bill with Assistant Minority Leader Polly Lawrence, R-Littleton. “Since its inception in 1988, voters have twice reauthorized a tax of one penny on every 10 dollar purchase to provide funding for hundreds of organizations across the seven-county region. Today, these tax dollars support 275 large and small organizations and a whole diverse array of opportunities for citizens to experience everything from world class facilities to small, intimate performances.”

SB16-016 asks voters to continue the 0.1 percent sales tax for the SCFD through 2030 and makes several changes to the funding formula for SCFD recipients by increasing funding to smaller organizations categorized as Tier 2 and Tier 3 recipients.

The SCFD was first approved by voters in 1988 to provide funding for art, music, theater, dance, zoology, botany, natural history, and cultural history organizations in the Denver metropolitan area through a 0.1 percent sales tax. The SCFD tax was approved twice more by voters in 1994 and 2004. Approximately $40 million is distributed to these facilities annually and the SCFD holds tremendous value for Colorado.

The vote sends the bill to the House floor for third reading.

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