DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado voters have rejected two different transportation measures on Election Day.
One would have hiked the state sales tax to fund state and local transportation projects. The other would have forced the state legislature to prioritize transportation funding.
Proposition 110 Defeated
Proposition 110 would have increased Colorado’s sales tax by .62 percent, or 6.2 cents on a $10 purchase. The extra money would have added nearly $800 million that the state could have leveraged to raise bond money totaling $7 billion. The money will be divided among state and local road projects as well as transit projects.
Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, said in a debate that aired on CBS4 election partner CPT 12 the proposition would have improved the quality of life for all Coloradans. She said the funds would have allowed the Colorado Department of Transportation to cross off many of the major projects in its wish list.
“The state currently has about a $9 billion project list so (we’ll) start put a dent in it,” she said.
She said it would also provide local communities with funds for their local transportation priorities.
“About 88 percent of roads in the state of Colorado are not state roads, they’re local — run by our counties and our municipal governments. This money goes directly to our local communities so they can address their transportation needs,” Brough said.
The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce said the measure would have saved Coloradans money in the long run — with better roads and transit projects drivers will wind up spending less on gas and will wind up with less damage to their vehicles due to accidents.
Proposition 109 Defeated
Proposition 109 would have used existing revenue to bond for $3.5 billion for transportation. It identified more than five dozen Colorado Department of Transportation projects around the state as the priorities.
In a debate that aired on CBS4 election partner CPT 12, supporter Jon Caldera, president of the Independence Institute, said Proposition 109 addresses the legislature’s refusal over the past 10 years to fund road improvement projects.
“It tells the legislature ‘You will bond for $3.5 billion to put towards 66 specified road projects that are CDOT’s top tier list projects and you will pay for it in the money you are awash in right now in revenue surpluses that are projected to continue,'” Caldera said.