With the election season well underway in Colorado it can be both confusing and overwhelming trying to keep up with every ballot initiative. We here at Denver South EDP, having done the research and listened to our communities, fully back Let’s Go, Colorado, a new funding source to fix our roads.
For decades, we have lacked the resources to maintain our roads, highways and local bus routes all across Colorado. We need a statewide solution that ensures local governments have the resources to meet demands, addresses high-priority projects on state highways, and promotes multimodal transportation options that reduce congestion.
The Let’s Go, Colorado proposal will increase the state’s sales tax an additional .62% on the dollar. This revenue will address longstanding problems with funding transportation projects in the state.
We sat down with our Managing Director, Lauren Masias, to dive deep into why this topic is so important for all Coloradoans.
The first thing I see is tax increase, why would anyone want to vote for that?
LM: A sales tax allows everyone who uses our road to chip in, including tourists. When looking at the actual numbers our proposal only increases the sales tax by .62%, a little more than half a cent on the dollar.
What will the money be used for?
LM: If approved by voters, this will generate in excess of $750 MLN/year and the ballot question specifies that 45% is to be used for statewide projects by CDOT, 40% is to be distributed to Local Governments and 15% is to be used to fund ‘multi-modal’ projects anywhere in Colorado.
In essence, the money will fund critical sate projects to increase safety, make it easier to get around, support multimodal transit and fund local street and highway projects as determined by their leadership.
That seems like a lot of money, do we really need that much, I thought the gas tax already paid for that?
LM: State Gasoline Taxes don’t cover anywhere near what the needs are and CDOT has a more than $9B backlog of projects with no funding.
The failure of CDOT to be able to keep up with the growth in the metro area and on I-70 to the mountains has caused a growing drumbeat from citizens for growth/development limitations and a couple of Cities are already just moments away from adopting 1% residential growth restrictions.
Who is running this campaign and what has the initial response been?
LM: The Ballot Initiative asking voters to approve a .62% Statewide Sales Tax Increase has been put together and run by Maria Garcia-Berry of CRL Associates.
Additionally, the initiative has broad support from state and local governments, economic development agencies and, of course, the construction and development industry.
In fact, the campaign is estimated to cost $9 MLN and the ‘Contractors’ Association’ has already committed to fund 1/3 of that. My organization, the Denver South Economic Development Partnership has given $100k.
If anyone out there still has questions or would like to provide support, what can they do?