DENVER (AP) — A coalition of business groups on Friday announced plans to ask Colorado voters this fall to raise sales taxes to pay for $6 billion in transportation projects.
If it makes the ballot and is approved, the proposal would raise state sales taxes by .62 percentage points, or $766 million a year starting in 2019. With interest, the $6 billion bond issuance would cost taxpayers $9.4 billion over 20 years.
The initiative is backed by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and other transportation advocates across the state, including local officials in both parties, as well as urban and rural business groups.
"It's about time we make a serious investment in our transportation infrastructure. Our roads are literally crumbling beneath our feet," said Christian Reece, executive director of Club 20, an association of counties from western Colorado.
The funding would be split with 45 percent going to state highway projects, 40 percent to local governments and 15 percent to alternate forms of transportation, such as mass transit.
Voters may also have other options on the ballot.
One measure offered for this November's ballot by the conservative Independence Institute would borrow $3.5 billion for roads without new taxes.
Another plan referred by the state Legislature will appear on the 2019 ballot if the others aren't approved. It would borrow $2.34 billion without new taxes.
Colorado faces $9 billion in transportation needs over the next decade, according to state transportation officials.