Denver Gives Democrat Officials Tax Exemption, Risks Public Resentment

A few days ago I had a conversation with some non-political family members about the pains of hosting a national political convention. One of them lives in the Twin Cities. The rest of us live in and around Denver. Doubtless this means some inconveniences and annoyances for denizens, regardless of whether it’s the Republicans or Democrats coming to your town.

But the Denver Post today reports a small outrage I hadn’t even considered before (H/T Slapstick Politics):

Several Denver City Council members are questioning why the Democratic National Convention Committee has a contract with the city to fill up their fleet of vehicles with tax-free fuel.

The $466,000 contract, only $9,700 of which has been paid so far by the DNCC officials, allows them to use the city’s car wash and gas stations for their vehicles. The city’s fuel pumps should be used by government employees only because they don’t charge $.40 cents per gallon of state and federal taxes.

I’m not a lawyer, but this sure sounds like an unethical use of government tax-exempt status. Local media ought to give it further examination. And what about Denver mayor John Hickenlooper? The article cites Hick making a false claim that a similar deal was in place between Minneapolis and the Republican National Convention. What will the city do about the contract?

In the meantime, the rest of us private citizens pay $4 a gallon for gasoline, Democratic party officials get a standard 10 percent discount that takes resources away from funding our highways and other transportation needs. The DNC hasn’t even arrived in Denver yet, and you can already start to feel the public resentment and seething begin to rise.

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