How much will the state’s new transportation proposal cost average Colorado drivers?

Data Desk

DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s proposed gasoline and package delivery fees are working their way through the state Legislature just as the state has received an injection of federal dollars bound for transportation.

Gov. Jared Polis announced Monday that the state of Colorado has received its $3.8 billion share of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

The portion of the federal stimulus package earmarked for Colorado transportation is $404 – $414 million. This is an immediate shot of roughly 10% the amount Polis and other state leaders hope to raise from its freshly proposed transportation bill.

The bill, SB21-260, has the goal to generate $3.75 billion over the next 10 years to spend on roads and rails.

The revenue comes mostly by charging fees to road users, including personal vehicle drivers, electric vehicle owners, diesel trucks, rental vehicles, car shares, taxis, package deliveries and autonomous vehicles.

Most of it comes from two sources – consumer fees on gasoline per gallon and consumer fees on retail package deliveries.

Just under 40% of the revenue – $1.5 billion over 10 years – will come from the so-called “road usage fee” which will charge two cents per gallon of gasoline beginning in 2023. Every year will add another two cents and cap at eight cents per gallon.

Assuming an average 13,500 miles driven per year and an average 25 miles per gallon, this comes to roughly $10-$11 worth of additional gasoline expense per vehicle per year the first year. By the time the fee reaches eight cents per gallon, it will equal roughly $43 more dollars per year.

Diesel fuel will go up by six cents per gallon.

Another 30% of the revenue will come from the online retail order fee of 25 cents per delivery. Assuming one retail parcel per week, that means an extra $13 per year.

The revenue will mainly replenish the existing buckets from which the Colorado Department of Transportation draws its funding.

Exactly 70% of the money raised from the assorted fees will go into the Highway Users Tax Fund, or HUTF.

Over half the state’s transportation funding comes from this source. According to CDOT, “HUTF revenues come from state motor fuel taxes (22 cents/gallon for gasoline, and 20.5 cents/gallon for diesel), vehicle registration fees, and smaller sources like driver’s license fees and fines.”

From this fund, the proposed project plans rural road redevelopment, highway repairs, public transit hubs and rail development.

The next largest chunk of funding is earmarked to encourage or subsidize electric vehicle usage.

Eight percent of funding will go toward electrifying the health department’s vehicles, another 8% will go to building electric charging stations and 2% will go to electrifying public transit.

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