Transportation funding proposal veers into ditch

NORTHGLENN THORNTON SENTINEL

A bill that would have asked Colorado voters to approve a sales tax increase to help fund billions of dollars in transportation projects has been rejected by Republicans in the state Senate.

But the Democratic speaker of the House is optimistic the nearly two-month discussion surrounding House Bill 1242 will be good for the state in the long run. The state transportation system faces a $1 billion per year funding shortfall, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.

“While I am disappointed by today’s outcome,” said Crisanta Duran, D-Denver, “I am hopeful that House Bill 1242 has started a conversation that must continue if we are going to have a transportation system that keeps us out of traffic jams and helps Colorado businesses generate jobs for our people.”

The bill was defeated by a 3-2 vote in a Senate committee on April 25. If it had been approved at the Capitol and then passed by voters in November, it would have raised the state sales tax from 2.9 percent to 3.4 percent from 2018 through 2037.

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