The Scientific and Cultural Facilities District: An analysis of historical, environmental and economic factors impacting the creation of a cultural tax district in the Denver, Colorado region
In November 1988 the voters of the Denver, Colorado metropolitan region overwhelmingly approved the creation of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, an unprecedented tax initiative to support the region's scientific and cultural institutions. This program, re-authorized by the voters in 1994, now generates more than $20 million a year, and provides support to more than 200 scientific and cultural facilities. It has, and continues to have, a tremendous impact on a region that was in deep recession when the voters approved it by a three-to-one margin. This landmark program now serves as a model for other communities seeking public support for their scientific and cultural facilities. An examination of the program's history indicates that there were a number of historical and environmental factors that contributed to Denver's success in creating this district, and that an examination of these would be of great assistance to other communities planning similar efforts.