Today’s Denver Post outlines the decision Colorado voters will make this year regarding much needed transportation infrastructure funding.
The piece shows how only Proposition 110 offers the guaranteed, sustainable funding source to address years of transportation neglect.
Colorado voters’ transportation options, broken down. Hint: It’s not as simple as whether to raise taxes.
Competing “Fix Our Damn Roads” and larger tax measure reflect longstanding debate
Should the tax pass, CDOT officials say their current plans call for using their share as well as the already planned borrowing to fund a $7 billion project list around the state, with another $1.5 billion paying for paving work and $500 million set aside as a reserve fund.
Colorado voters’ choice between two wildly differing transportation-funding initiatives this fall could effectively settle a longstanding debate over how to address one of the biggest challenges posed by the state’s explosive growth.
Or the outcome could signal even more pitched battles ahead.
The decision in the Nov. 6 election largely will rest on whether voters believe that transportation needs in the mountains, the Eastern Plains and urban areas are pressing enough to justify a significant sales tax increase pushed by business interests and local officials throughout the state. If approved, the 0.62 percentage-point hike would raise a projected $20 billion over two decades, to be split among state highways, local projects and transit initiatives. The state could borrow up to $6 billion upfront.
The competing measure, offered up by the conservative-libertarian Independence Institute in Denver, would mandate a more modest one-time boon strictly for high-priority road projects. And the initiative would leave it to legislators to figure out how to repay up to $3.5 billion in authorized bonds from the $29 billion annual state budget.