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Community Seeks Tax Hike In Denver For Mental Health And Opioid Crisis

By Alan Gionet

DENVER (CBS4) - On Thursday evening the mental health community in Denver will come together to seek support for a ballot issue to bring more mental health and substance abuse services to the Mile High City.

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(credit: CBS)

They will call it the "Caring 4 Denver" campaign, and supporters want a .25% increase in sales tax in the city to bring more mental health and substance abuse services to Denver.

"Our friends, family members and neighbors in Denver need our help," said state Rep. Leslie Herod in a release ahead of the kickoff. "This measure will bring much needed mental health treatment and substance abuse services to our community and there is no better time to act than right now."

The campaign is scheduled to kick off Thursday at 6 p.m. at Finn's Manor at 2927 Larimer Street in the Curtis Park neighborhood.

Supporters have been asking the community for input on providing better mental health care services in the city. The tax increase, if approved by voters, would mean a 2.5 cent tax on every $10 spent, or a quarter on $100. It would raise an estimated $45 million for mental treatment for children and adults, suicide prevention programs, opioid and substance abuse prevention, treatment and recovery and affordable housing and case management services.

Supporters still have work to do to get the issue on the ballot. They will have to collect 4,726 signatures from registered voters to get the issue on the November ballot. The kickoff event is a way of starting that drive.

Alan Gionet is anchor of CBS4 This Morning and reports on a wide variety of issues and "Good Question" stories. He started at CBS4 in 1994. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanGTV or on Facebook.

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