Colorado’s transportation system is critical to our state’s economy, but right now it is increasingly becoming overburdened, underfunded and, in some cases, crumbling. Unfortunately, during this past legislative session, lawmakers were not able to address our basic transportation infrastructure. Despite plenty of debate amid two different legislative proposals, no meaningful action was taken to maintain Colorado’s roads, bridges and highways or its urban, mountain and rural highways and transit corridors.
Colorado lawmakers attempted a few years ago to augment dwindling gas-tax revenue. Legislation passed in 2009 put in place a trigger for additional highway and transit funding once the economy rebounded. Colorado hit that trigger this year amid its economic boom, and it should have infused another $1 billion into CDOT’s budget over the next five years. CDOT planned to use those funds to jump-start several high-priority projects, including long-overdue upgrades to I-70 through Denver and Interstate 25 in northern and southern Colorado. However, those funds never will make it to their intended destination.
Colorado’s economic gains also triggered refunds under the state’s mandatory revenue limits. As a result, the state will have to give up millions of tax dollars that could have funded transportation.
The Colorado Contractor’s Association believes it’s time to address Colorado’s transportation funding—especially while the state’s economy is strong and revenue is available to make significant improvements in our transportation system.
To that end, they will be convening conversations about how to address transportation funding and building a coalition to support potential legislative and ballot proposals for 2016. Polling, outreach and economic studies will be conducted throughout the summer with a goal of presenting statewide leaders a plan for action for the coming year. Learn more about the outreach and the results of the polling and studies at the Chamber’s next Quarterly Membership Luncheon September 21st.
Click here to download the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce July 2015 Newsletter.