Polling Dooms Transportation Sales Tax

MPACT64, the collaborative effort of the (Denver) Metro Mayors Caucus, Progressive 15, Action 22, and Club 20 will not push a .7 percent statewide sales tax question for the 2014 ballot. Early polling indicates there less support for the measure than there was for Amendment 66, the education measure that failed miserably at the polls last November.

Don Hunt, executive director of the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), said he was disappointed in the poll results. About 15 other states have had a boost in road funding through votes at state legislatures, but Colorado’s funding laws, specifically TABOR, require a vote of the people.

CDOT’s other funding options for new projects are slim-to-none. CDOT’s RAMP program allows the agency to spend down its cash reserves to get work into the hands of contractors, but that funding stream ends in a few years, Hunt said.

Note: Speaking of transportation grants, in a meeting with Northern Colorado business people recently, Gov. Hickenlooper seemed optimistic. He feels that the funding to expand I-25 north of Highway 66 is feasible if we are willing to add a managed lane using a public-private partnership. This type of cooperation would be enough, in the Governor’s opinion, to convince the State and Federal government to put in the funding to expand I-25 all the way to Highway 14.

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