Transportation Infrastructure Funding Passes Committee
Earlier this week, our President and CEO Kelly Brough joined partners from across the state to testify in support of House Bill 1242, this time in the Senate Transportation Committee.
The bill, which would refer a .5 percent sales and use tax increase for transportation infrastructure and mobility investment to the November ballot, passed the committee by a vote of 3 to 2 and continues to evolve with amendments. The Chamber has successfully advocated for two amendments to be added to the bill.
First, the money allocated to the Colorado Department of Transportation was set at a fixed amount while the monies allocated to counties, municipalities and a multimodal transportation fund were a percentage of the excess revenue, which is expected to rise over time. This would mean that CDOT would not be able to address rising costs in construction and inflation while other stakeholders would. With this amendment, the amount allocated to CDOT has changed from a set $300 million to 40 percent of the revenue raised.
Second, this bill would have created a multimodal transportation options committee. It’s critically important that we don’t silo our investments in mobility and that we maintain only one commission. Two entities only exacerbate the challenge of ensuring we develop and maintain a comprehensive, statewide strategy. Lawmakers agreed, and now duties assigned to the committee will be handled by CDOT’s transit and rail advisory committee.
“Coloradans are literally paying a steep price for our state’s failure to invest in their roads. And that only gets worse given that without this investment we’re relying today on a declining revenue source for transportation – our gas tax,” Brough told the committee. “Not investing in transportation will also cost us in two additional ways: How we attract companies and how we attract workers.”
Legislators on this bill have been open to the concerns of the business community and we’re optimistic that these changes are bringing us closer to the statewide solution we have been working towards for several years. We will keep you updated as this bill continues to make its way through the legislature.
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