DENVER -- The future of Colorado's transportation woes will rest with the November 2018 election. There are two ballot measures and voters will decide if both, some, or none pass into law.
WHAT ARE THE TWO MEASURES?
Fix Our Damn Roads or Proposition 109 will appear on the ballot. It demands the state pass no new taxes for transportation. Instead it encourages lawmakers to use current funding for $3.5 billion in transportation bonds.
Let's Go Colorado or Proposition 110 is a transportation measure aimed at increasing the state sales tax .62 percent. That means a $100 purchase will cost 62 cents more. Supporters say it will raise more than $6 billion dollars for transportation needs with over $700 million in new revenue being created in the first year.
WHAT TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS DO MEASURES FUND?
Let's Go Colorado or Proposition 110 is not as specific with its funding, although it promises to improve I70 and I25 as well. The sales tax increase devotes 45 percent to state highway needs, 40 percent to local government transportation needs, and 15 percent to multimodal forms of transportation like mass transit and bike lanes. The proposal focuses on funding the CDOT priority list.
WHO HAS THE MOST SUPPORT?
From a campaigning stand-point the sales tax increase has the most resources. They have raised over $2 million for television commercials and has the backing of the powerful Chamber of Commerce and many local mayors.
However, transportation insiders say Fix our Damn Roads is polling far better. The grassroots effort is mostly the work of Jon Caldera and the Independence Institute believing the state does not need new revenue. Fix our Damn Roads has raised over $400,000.
COULD BOTH MEASURES PASS?
Yes. Both measures could pass or both measures could fail.
If both measures pass the state will receive a full injection of new revenue for transportation projects as well as the authority to bond.
If Fix our Damn Roads fails, a new transportation bonding question would be asked in 2019. That's because state lawmakers already passed a bill asking for a statewide ballot bonding measure in 2019. If Fix our Damn Roads passes, state lawmakers would remove their question from the 2019 ballot.
WHY DO VOTERS NEED TO APPROVE THIS?
Unlike many other states, lawmakers can not raise taxes on their own. Instead any tax increase or bonding request must be approved by voters.
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) was passed in 1992 and voters have traditionally struck down tax increases in statewide votes since then.