Colorado Considers Proposition to improve roadways & bridges

By Anthony SanFilippo

Update (Nov. 7, 2018): Voters in Colorado decided to vote against Proposition 110 by an overwhelming margin (60-40). Stand by for more updates on what this might mean to your community. Sign up for updates.

Colorado’s transportation needs have gone unmet for the past quarter century and it now faces a $9 billion backlog in unfunded state infrastructure projects.

Colorado voters have a chance to change that on Election Day.

Voters will be given the option to approve Proposition 110 which will create a small tax increase to help eliminate the ever-growing backlog and improve the state’s roadways, bridges and multi-modal transit options.

Known as the “Let’s Go, Colorado” campaign, Proposition 110 will create a small, but impactful sales tax increase of 0.62% or 6.2 cents on a $10 purchase.

  • The 80 million out-of-state tourists who use Colorado’s infrastructure each year will contribute to improving our roads.
  • A 0.62% increase generates enough funding to make meaningful and long-lasting improvements to roads, highways and transportation systems.
  • Cities and counties can prioritize infrastructure projects based on their individual needs.

Of the new dollars generated:

  • 45% will go to the State Highway Fund and will be used to address major road improvements on Colorado’s largest and most traveled highways.
  • 40% of the dollars will go to the Local Priorities Transportation Fund (with 20% going to cities and 20% going to counties) where local jurisdictions will have complete flexibility on where those funds are spent.
  • 15% of the revenue will go to the Multi-modal Options Fund which will support transportation solutions that decrease congestion and improve air quality, such as bike paths and sidewalk and walkway improvements.

Additionally, Proposition 110’s tax increase will sunset after 20 years, after which, the tax rate will revert back to its current rate unless voters approve to keep it or raise it further.

Colorado Municipal League Executive Director Sam Mamet said in a recent press release, “The primary issue is that we have been relying on the same $.22 cent per gallon tax for over 25 years. Meanwhile, inflation, costs of labor and construction have gone up exponentially. Toss in fuel efficient vehicles and the gas tax yields half of what it once did. This unsustainable structural problem must be fixed and can be done in a way that boosts transit options, too.”

According to a recent report from a national transportation research group, potholes and rough roads are already causing headaches for Colorado drivers, resulting in $468 in per-driver annual average repairs.

Meanwhile, traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas has gotten worse as well. In Denver alone, the average driver spends more than 50 hours a year just sitting in heavy traffic.

Of all the infrastructure funding proposals, Proposition 110 is the only one that addresses local roads and multimodal transportation options as well as state roads, making it the one proposition that benefits the entirety of Colorado and not just the state highway system.

“It is clear that the status quo is not going to cut it for municipal needs around the state – let alone all the county and state needs,” Adam Paul Mayor of Lakewood said in a press release. “Coloradans deserve better.”


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