Voters Say 'Yes' To Tax Increase For Fixing Colorado Springs Roads

Pothole at Bijou and North Academy prior to being repaired. (Credit: Christy Herder)
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Nov 3, 2015 UPDATE 11/3/15 10:40 p.m.: The numbers are in. As of late Tuesday night, 65 percent of voters said ‘yes’ to a sales tax increase. The money will be used to repair the badly damaged roads all over the city.

As we've been reporting, the streets are in the worst condition they've ever been in. Now, millions of dollars will go toward fixing them, and filling up those potholes.

The .62 percent tax will bring in an estimated $250 million over the next five years. That's $50 million a year going toward fixing our roads. That tax will go into effect starting Jan. 1.

"This is a central government service, and I’m very proud of the voters for stepping up and saying, 'We’ve got to do this,'" Mayor John Suthers said.

"We're disappointed because we have a mayor, John Suthers, who didn't really do his due diligence," Liberty First President David Kelly said.

Kelly and opponents of the sales tax increase said they're afraid this money will be used for other projects. The mayor maintains it's just for roads.

The city streets manager, Corey Farkas said they've already started planning.

"Very few municipalities have ever embarked on something this large in such a short period of time that I'm aware of at this point so this is an enormous undertaking," Farkas said.

He said citizens should start to see road work as soon as January.

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PREVIOUS 11/3/15 7:30p.m.: Shortly after the polls closed Tuesday evening, Colorado Springs City Council President Merv Bennett took to the podium at a watch party announcing the early numbers for 2C.

"The number of 'yes' votes is insurmountable. We have won," said Bennett.

The question on the ballot, Issue 2C, was asking voters to decide if they want an added sales tax to fund road repairs.

The increase will be a 0.62 percent sales tax increase over five years. The city, the streets department, and Colorado Springs Utilities have all been preparing as if the ballot question would pass.

The tax increase is expected to bring in approximately $50 million dollars a year over the next five years. Mayor John Suthers said it would all go toward fixing the roads.