DNC host's tax-free gas evaporates Angry reaction brings a halt to use of city pumps:D
Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz wants the private group to pay its share in fuel taxes.
The committee hosting the Democratic National Convention has used the city's gas pumps to fill up and apparently avoided paying state and federal fuel taxes. The practice, which began four months ago, may have ended hours after its disclosure.
Downs said the contract with the host committee started in March and that $9,700 in fuel and services had been purchased from the city so far. But the committee has yet to be billed. The city anticipates $466,125 in total revenues from the contract, Downs said.
City Councilman Charlie Brown raised the question of whether the host committee would be paying fuel taxes, and Downs said it wouldn't.
"There's something there that just doesn't seem right to me because, in a sense, you're saying then that the officials who pass the laws are not willing to live by them," said Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz.
Hickenlooper said the practice isn't unique to Denver.
"I do know for a fact that they're doing the same exact thing in Minneapolis," Hickenlooper said, referring to the city that along with St. Paul is hosting the Republican National Convention.
But Teresa McFarland, a spokeswoman for the Minneapolis-St. Paul host committee, said its members are getting their gas at public pumps.
"We're not getting a tax break on fuel," she said. "That's not the setup at this end."
In Colorado, consumers pay 40.4 cents per gallon in state and federal fuel taxes.
"We're a nonpartisan, nonprofit committee, but certainly, if the city feels that taxes are applicable, we will pay those, too," said Chris Lopez, spokesman for the host committee. "So we would pay all applicable taxes on any of the fuel."