HB-1242 “Transportation Infrastructure Funding” had its first committee hearing in the Senate’s Transportation Committee on April 11. It passed out of the committee on a 3-2 vote but that could spell trouble for the bill. While HB-1242 is co-sponsored by the Senate President, a Republican, Senators John Cooke (Greeley) and Ray Scott (Grand Junction), voted against it.
Some key amendments may make the bill more palatable to conservative Republicans. One amendment reduced the sales tax increase from .62 percent to .50 percent. Another changed CDOT’s allocation from a flat $375 million a year to 53 percent a year, which allows the portion for State projects to grow over time.
The Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance has a neutral position on the bill because we have significant concerns about the bill. For one thing, our polls show voters will not support such a large sales tax increase. In addition, the emphasis on funding local projects and multi-modal transportation comes at the expense of state highways. We believe the bill should include a “signature list” of projects generated by the Transportation Commission that guarantees funding for key interstates and corridors.
Note: The Colorado Association of REALTORS® currently has a neutral position on this bill.