Colorado: Transportation Bill Dies in Senate Committee

The transportation bill sponsored by the Democratic Speaker of the House and the Republican Senate President died in the Senate Finance Committee on April 25. HB-1242 would have asked voters to approve a new .50 state sales tax and allowed the State to issue bonds in order to raise $3.5 million for transportation. CDOT would net 29.2 percent of the revenue for state highways. The remaining revenue would have been split with allocations for local government (70 percent) and multi-modal transportation (30 percent) including sidewalks, dial-a-ride services and transit.

The Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee killed the bill, which had already passed the House, because they opposed the sales tax increase. NCLA had a neutral position on the bill, as did CAR. NCLA supports bonding as a revenue source, however the bill would not have raised enough revenue for CDOT’s priority list. In addition, we did not support the multi-modal emphasis of the bill. As written, the bill would’ve allowed multi-modal projects to “triple-dip” because they would’ve been eligible for bond revenues, local government and the specific multi-modal allocation. Rumor has it the Republicans will introduce another transportation bill in this session but it’s hard to imagine the Democrats will support it.

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