Colorado Springs Mayor Asking For Sales Tax Increase

Mayor Steve Bach gave his State of the City address Thursday afternoon in front of hundreds of people.

The mayor spoke about many of the highlights over his last three years in office, including adding dozens of firefighters and police officers, and increasing funds for community parks every year.

He also said while looking towards the future there are many things around the city that need a lot of work.

"We need to be honest with ourselves and realize where we are and the way this city is in terms of our crumbling infrastructure," said Mayor Bach

The mayor said there is $1.3 billion in back log for capital improvement projects.

He said ideally the economy would pick up which would help the city pay for those projects, but Bach says that hasn't happened and they need to look at more options.

"One would be to issue new bonds subject to voter approval and without raising taxes. Or asking voters to approve an increased sales tax which I suggest would be sunsetted with a lot of other conditions," said Bach.

Bach said right now the city only has enough money to pay to resurface 2 percent of roads per year when it should be 10 percent.

He also says the parks department can't afford to water sports playing fields; also, several public safety facilities are obsolete and need to be replaced.

"I'm very proud of what we've accomplished in three years without asking for more taxes and I hope maybe it can continue, I'm not sure, but we must move this city forwards to be successful," he said.

The mayor also said he'd be interested in hearing other options that city council members may have regarding how to fund those projects.