It’s a rare occasion when the Denver Post meets a tax hike it doesn’t like, but the editorial board has aptly named four of them as “pet projects” that should be rejected by Denver voters.

Why compete against other worthy causes for funding when you can just bypass the entire pesky budgeting process and funnel money directly from taxpayers to your pet project?

That’s the slippery-slope trend we’re seeing on the Denver ballot this year, where four proposed sales tax increases would collectively generate $115 million annually to go directly to specific causes, some of which seem well-outside the ordinary operations of a city government.

The Post gives thumbs down to:

  • Referred Measure 2A, a 0.25 percent sales tax for parks
  • Initiated Ordinance 300, a 0.08 percent sales tax for a Denver schools’ scholarship fund
  • Initiated Ordinance 301, a 0.25 percent sales tax for mental health programs
  • Initiated Ordinance 302, a 0.08 percent sales tax for food programs for low-income children

Of course the tax hikes sound like worthy causes, but the fact of the matter is three of them aren’t even going to government services.

Taxes are being proposed on the populace to fund outside groups with no government oversight or complete public transparency requirements.

We agree with the Post that city tax proposals have jumped the shark, and residents should keep their hands on their wallets and make their own decisions about which charities and non-profits they want to fund.