Colorado Politics

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce will submit paperwork Friday to get on the ballot in November with a sales tax to fund transportation across the state.

The chamber leads a statewide coalition proposing one of three potential requests to voters: for 0.50 cents, for 0.62 cents or a full penny, Chamber President Kelly Brough told Colorado Politics.

She said which question amount would depend on the state revenue forecast that comes out in mid-March, as well as the outcome of the current legislative session; lawmakers are considering legislation to put more money from the state budget into transportation.

“We think it’s important to find out what the state can contribute before we finalize what the right number is to ask voters to finish the work,” she said.

The half-cent sales tax is expected to raise about $500 million a year — 45 percent for interstates and state roads, 40 percent for cities and counties and 15 percent for transit.

Colorado’s state sales tax is one of the lowest in the country, 2.9 percent, but municipalities can tack on as much as they can get voters to approve to support local needs.Thirty-seven municipalities in the state already have effective sales tax rates of more than 8 percent, led by Winter Park at 11.2 cents and Silverton at 10.4. The proposed sales tax would land on top of existing taxes.

To get on the ballot, the measure needs 98,492 signatures in six months, which represents 5 percent of the total votes cast in the last secretary of state’s race.

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