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Denver’s 2020 Response to COVID-19  

Author:  Christine R. Martell.

Source: Volume 42, Number 02, Summer 2021 , pp.51-70(20)

Municipal Finance Journal

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Denver came into 2020 prepared for a recession and with a balanced, but lean, budget that honored investment priorities and maintained reserve funds. The city’s healthy reserves, low debt levels relative to large debt authorization, and pre-pandemic preparations for a recession aided the response. This review calls attention to the important themes of Denver’s response to COVID-19—namely, a focus on equity, attempts to fully leverage federal funds, and the role of the Great Recession in informing the response. Moving forward, Denver faces the challenge of rebuilding its fiscal base alongside spending pressures.

Keywords: Denver, COVID-19, budgeting, fiscal reserves, federal funds

Affiliations:  1: University of Colorado Denver.

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