DENVER (KDVR) — The first day of July doesn’t mean a lot to most people, but in the world of politics and business, it marks the start of a new fiscal year. Here in Colorado, it also means there are some new laws going into effect.
Several of these new laws will impact drivers across the state. While leaders are spotlighting the ones that could save you money, there are some other fees that will cost you too.
Driver’s license fees frozen
The governor has made saving dollars a key area of interest heading into the last half of the year and crunch time for his re-election campaign. Among the new laws he is highlighting is a freezing of driver’s license fees, which were slated to go up this year before lawmakers allocated around $4 million to stop it.
“We’re saving people money, cutting costs and making sure there’s more money going back into the pockets of hardworking Coloradans,” Polis said in a statement.
New delivery fee to fund infrastructure
On the other side of the reductions are increases.
Last year, lawmakers passed a bill to fund infrastructure projects around the state. It imposes a new fee of 27 cents on retail deliveries for buyers, starting July 1. It applies to items that are subject to sales tax and delivered by car, including things like deliveries from Amazon and DoorDash.
Rideshares will also see a new fee of 30 cents for most rides.
What they’re saying about the changes
“Any kind of increase to fees or taxes, it’s a big deal to people. You haven’t seen the governor talk about it at all,” said Michael Fields, FOX31’s Republican political analyst and the president of Advance Colorado Institute. “They shouldn’t be raising anything right now. We should be reducing stuff, especially when the state government has more money than we’ve ever had. We need to prioritize better.”
The governor’s office is encouraging drivers to look at the bigger picture of improving roads. They released this statement:
“Colorado roads have been costing Coloradans time and money for far too long. Through strong bipartisan collaboration we passed a bill that gives cost relief by both reducing fees, such as the vehicle registration fee, and by reducing the real costs Coloradans pay on vehicle maintenance by finally fixing our dang roads. While Governor Polis was on the record seeking a gas tax reduction as a top priority in this bill, he was able to get a major vehicle registration fee reduction of $11.10 per vehicle that saves Coloradans money, and maybe even more importantly, time.”Spokesperson for Gov. Jared Polis
Gas fee delayed to 2023, lawsuit pending
The governor is also celebrating a law that delays a 2-cent-per-gallon fee on gas that would have gone into effect on July 1 but will now be implemented in April 2023. Opponents wonder why the other fees attached to the infrastructure plan could not wait too.
“If it’s a big enough deal to delay a 2-cent gas fee increase, why would you not delay a 27-cent or 30-cent increase for deliveries? So why they decided to do this, I have no idea,” Fields said.
That infrastructure plan had the support of one Republican at the Capitol when it passed.
There is an ongoing lawsuit filed by Advance Colorado Institute and Americans for Prosperity over the fees, arguing voters should have had a say before they went into effect.