Denver Councilwoman Wants White-Owned Businesses Taxed

Denver Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca (D) made headlines this week after advocating for White-owned businesses to be taxed at a special rate and the proceeds given to “Black and Brown-owned” businesses.

CdeBaca spoke to the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance Forum last week, where she criticized

capitalism as being “built on stolen land, stolen labor and stolen resources.”

For the member of the city council, a one-time reparations payment would not be sufficient to “undo the cumulative impact of generations of that stolen wealth in all of those categories.”

She said that “there are structures that we have that could be flipped to begin” the process. This could start with a local business development project in the Five Points neighborhood.

CdeBaca said at the event that the city could collect additional taxes “from White-led businesses all over the city and redistributing them to Black and Brown-owned businesses.” She called it “one way to give back.”

She also stated that “reparations’ goal should not be survival, it should be repairing the harm, which is this entire economy.”

This is not the first time that CdeBaca has made controversial statements. In 2019, she said that she desired “community ownership of land, labor, resources and distributions of those resources” by “any means necessary.”

The city council member also faced an ethics complaint filed by a member of the Denver Police Department related to her actions in 2020. Police officers dismantled a homeless encampment in August of that year, during which CdeBaca berated the officers, including allegedly calling them animals.

The police officer who filed the report said that the councilwoman’s actions made the difficult situation worse and told a Black police officer that he should be ashamed of himself.

The officer also wrote that he was insulted for being White and that the “statements directed at me insinuated I am racist because I am White.”

The ethics complaint was recently dismissed on a technicality.

The 37-year-old member of the City Council is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and took office in 2019.