Fix Colorado Roads News Service

Mar 27, 2017 | Chamber News

Fix Colorado Roads

Colorado Public Shows Up En Mass to Support Transportation Bill-(KRCC & KUNC, March 23, 2017)- Wednesday was a long day at the State Capitol. Eighty people signed up to testify on a massive transportation funding bill that if passed, would ultimately end up before voters in the fall.

During a more than seven-hour hearing before the House Transportation and Energy Committee people expressed lots of thoughts on how to improve Colorado’s roads — and how to pay for them. Lawmakers also offered several dozen changes to House Bill 1242 but, in the end, the measure passed along party lines.

The measure calls for an increase of sales taxes by 0.62 percent over the next two decades, raising the rate to 3.52 percent overall. This would bring in about $700 million each year. The proposal would also allow Colorado borrow up to $3.5 billion for projects.

“We aren’t keeping up with the current system that we’ve got,” said House Speaker Crisanta Duran, a Democrat.

Colorado transportation funding bill clears first committee-(The Durango Herald, March 23, 2017)- After a late night of hearing public testimony and considering multiple amendments, a legislative committee gave first approval to the state’s major transportation bill Thursday morning.

House Bill 1242 would use a mixture of existing revenue and a sales tax increase over the next 20 years to generate roughly $677 million annually to fund the expansion and maintenance of Colorado’s transportation infrastructure. The House Transportation and Energy Committee approved the bill on an 8-5 party-line vote, with Republicans opposing the tax increase.

Under the bill, the Colorado Department of Transportation would receive $375 million annually, which was increased from $300 million by an amendment adopted during the hearing, for the payment of a bond of up to $3.5 billion.

Seventy percent of the remaining funds would go to counties and municipalities, and the rest would go to a newly-created Multimodal Transportation Options Fund, which would provide matching grants for transit, pedestrian and active transportation projects.

Legislature/Congress: Visit the state Capitol on Monday-(Pueblo Chieftain, March 23, 2017)- … Transportation bill moves on

The House Transportation Committee voted 8-5 on Wednesday to send House Bill 1242 to the Finance Committee. The vote, according to a release by Fix Colorado Roads, was party-line. Democrats are the majority in the House.

The bill would refer a measure to the November ballot asking voters to raise the state sales tax by 0.62 percent. The increase would generate roughly $695 million annually. Simultaneously, the bill would reduce vehicle registration fees, resulting in roughly $80 million in savings for motorists, and it would reallocate $50 million in existing state revenue toward transportation projects.

An amendment adopted eliminates FASTER late fees. Other amendments increased the initial allocation of dollars from the tax increase to Colorado Department of Transportation to $375 million from $300; reduce to $375 million the matching requirement for small governments; and enhance supports for low-income Coloradans to have access to affordable transportation.

Fremont County Commission Chair Debbie Bell testifies in favor of statewide transportation plan-(Canyon City Daily Record, March 23, 2017)- Fremont County Commission Chair Debbie Bell provided testimony Wednesday before the Colorado House Transportation and Energy Committee at the state Capitol in favor of House Bill 1242, a comprehensive, statewide transportation plan.

Sponsors of the bipartisan bill are Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush of Steamboat Springs and Speaker Crisanta Duran of Denver. The bill is co-sponsored in the Senate by Senate President Kevin Grantham.

Colorado Counties, Inc. states HB 1242 would place a measure before the voters this November to raise the state sales tax by .62 percent in order to generate about $700 million annually for transportation.

The Colorado Department of Transportation would use $300 million of this new revenue to do $3.5 billion in bonding to expedite Tier 1 projects across the state. The remaining $400 million generated annually would be allocated 70 percent to counties and cities, to be shared equally, and 30 percent to a new multi-modal transportation grant program.