Proposition 109: ‘Fix our Damn Roads’ amendment promises not to raise taxes

Election

Proposition 109 is formally titled as ‘Authorize Bonds for Highway Projects’ but it’s short titled as “Fix our Damn Roads.” 

It proposes amending the Colorado statutes to:

  • Require the state to borrow up to $3.5 billion in 2019 to fund up to 66 specific highway projects 
  • Direct the state to identify a source of funds to repay the borrowed amount without raising taxes or fees
  • Limit the total repayment amount, including principal and interest, to $5.2 billion over 20 years

The 66 highway projects are outlined in your blue book on pages 59 through 63, and they include road construction and maintenance, road and bridge expansion and the widening of I-70 and I-25. 

Some people, like Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, are in support of Proposition 109. 

“We need to fix our roads,” Suthers said. “Roads is something we oughta be spending money on.” 

Others, like Ballot Policy President, Scott Wasserman, is in strong disapproval. 

“Proposition 109 comes at a very steep cost for Coloradans,” Wasserman said. “This is irresponsible debt and we need to make sure the state of Colorado does not go down this path.”

To put this in perspective, for the state budget year of 2017-2018, CDOT spent about $1.2 billion, or roughly 85 percent, of its revenue on state highway maintenance and operations. They spent $220.5 million, or roughly 15 percent, on construction. 

What the Mayor is against, and what Wasserman is for, is Proposition 110. This would raise $6 billion to fix those transportation issues, but it would come with a tax increase. 

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