Proposition 110: Voters to decide on sales tax and bonds for transportation projects

DENVER (KKTV) - A breakdown of Proposition 110 in part by the state ballot information booklet in Colorado:

110 proposes amending the Colorado statutes to:

-increase the state’s sales and use tax rate from 2.9 percent to 3.52 percent for 20 years;

-distribute the new tax revenue for transportation as follows: 45 percent to the state; 40 percent to local governments; and 15 percent for multimodal transportation projects; and

-permit the state to borrow up to $6.0 billion for transportation projects and limit the total repayment amount, including principal and interest, to $9.4 billion over 20 years.

The additional tax revenue collected under Proposition 110 is
dedicated to the following uses:

-45 percent to CDOT for state transportation projects, including debt repayment;

-40 percent to local governments for transportation projects; and

-15 percent for multimodal transportation projects.

Arguments For

1) Colorado's highways are deteriorating, and the cost of improvements continues to increase. The state needs to invest immediately in its infrastructure and cannot afford to expand and modernize its transportation system without a new revenue source. Colorado needs a modern transportation system that includes road, bus, bike, pedestrian, and rail options to address its growing population. This measure creates a flexible statewide transportation solution, and it lets local communities identify their own transportation projects and prioritize their most urgent needs.

2) Proposition 110 creates a sustainable source of funding for Colorado’s transportation needs. Colorado’s highway costs outpace collections from the gas tax. This measure offers a way for the state to increase transportation funding and repay bonds. This new, dedicated revenue for transportation will allow the state to continue to meet its obligations to fund education, health programs, and public safety while also investing heavily in Colorado’s roads.

Arguments Against

1) Proposition 110 raises taxes for a fundamental government service that should be fully funded through the state budget. Any shortfall in transportation funding is a result of prioritizing state spending in other areas of government. The state can fund roads with the money it collects in taxes, rather than resorting to expensive borrowing. Additionally, this measure dedicates too much revenue to multimodal transportation, money that should be used exclusively for road repair and improvement. The majority of the workforce use their personal vehicles to commute daily and depend on quality road and highway maintenance.

2) Sales taxes, which are already high, provide a poor method of funding transportation. The total sales tax rate exceeds 10 percent in some areas of Colorado. Raising the state sales tax disproportionately affects low-income individuals because they must spend a larger share of their budget buying taxable necessities.