Colorado road funds now can go to varying transit projects

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A new state law that quietly moved through this year's legislature gives cities and counties unprecedented freedom to spend tax dollars on transportation projects other than roads and bridges.

This means communities for the first time can use their share of the $250 million pot of money made up of state fuel sales taxes and license plate fees — known as the Highway Users Tax Fund, or HUTF — on bike and pedestrian lanes and bridges, bus purchases, rail-station construction and other transit-friendly projects.

Previously, HUTF could be used only to build and patch roads and bridges.

Read more at The Denver Post.

Comments

John St Pierre 1 year, 3 months ago

So who and how will road and bridges be replaced/ repaired and paid for????

This is so wrong on so many levels......

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Harvey Lyon 1 year, 3 months ago

I saw this when it first cleared the Senate Committee. It does make sense for certain urban communities, Use the funds to make taking the bus/light rail easier, etc.

However, in more rural areas, such as Routt County, its going to really spice up the Road and Bridge budget discussions. There are going to be quite a few folks arguing for more Bike support versus road maintenance. I can remember all the heated discussions over the size of the rocks in "Chip seal".

The line between "transportation projects" that will remove cars from the road and "transportation projects" that are really just recreational and in all acuality puts more cars on the road is going to be interesting. After all "Bike Town" USA is really a summer marketing tool designed to bring more folks (and cars) to town.

This will no doubt conflict with rural roads, the annual grading, etc.

There's going to be some interesting discussions and lobbying of the Routt County Commissioners for sure. Might be worth attending and sit in back :)

And, since this is now a "Democratic" County, ultimately car registration fees and property taxes will be raised.....LOL

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john bailey 1 year, 3 months ago

ahhh, Harvey. spot on. hey where did our FASTER money go? I think I gave enough for elevated I-70 to get put underground. you think the big xitty folks would thank us rural people. single file now, RCR14 is narrow

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John St Pierre 1 year, 3 months ago

"state FUEL fee's.... that means items that relate to FUEL>>>> Vehicles... last I checked Bicycles do not us fuel... and city transit buses don;t pay fuel taxes... these funds were meant tp maintain FUEL related transportation.... next step may be using Lodging Taxes to pay for the new police station... after all the same logic could be used......

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Harvey Lyon 1 year, 3 months ago

John, Absolutely correct and by CO Constitution this tax and fees MUST go to Road and Bridge Maintenance. However, some jurisdictions argued that making it easier to access mass transit reduced required road maintenance ergo it is not a violation of the Colorado Constitution. And no Democratic Party Governor is going to argue a local Democratic Party County who wants to spend more on bike paths then road maintenance. Their motto being we'll just raise taxes and do your thinking for you.

Basically, when one party runs the Governorship, the House, The Senate....they can do anything they want......often, in their glee, not engaging mind before engaging their pens.

Did you see the article about CU? A professor brought up the fact that the CU educational staff was registered 26 democrats for every 1 republican. He felt that perhaps that was a concern giving University education should discuss and consider all views. He's no longer with CU.

It all works out rather nifty until they run out of OPM (other people's money) and have to start taxing themselves.

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Fred Duckels 1 year, 3 months ago

FASTER money went to finance our new hybrid busses in one instance. Over 40% of the HUTF has already been siphoned for these feel good deals. Does this mean that the parameters have been already set and we now can grab the rest for paths leading to and from hacky sack areas. This means that in our county we can plow up our roads and plant marijuana..Let the Dems have the majority and they make up for a century of waiting on.an overdue wish list.

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Fred Duckels 1 year, 3 months ago

The left has run amok with their ideas with little concern for unintended consequences. This could prove to be disastrous. Right now we are flirting with insanity and the rise in gun sales may not be a coincidence. When has it been smooth when one has to stop and pay the piper?

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Harvey Lyon 1 year, 3 months ago

Fred,

I truly didn't expect to hear from you on this issue....LOL. Be it a bike path or a road, it requires moving and compacting dirt......LOL Pretty much anything in the transportation world has got to be good for Duckles.

I'm thinking they should sell tickets to upcoming "road and bridge" meetings. Its definately going to be good entertainment.

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Pat West 1 year, 3 months ago

Fred, did I see a sign on the Elk river bridge project saying that it was funded through FASTER funds? I noticed the sign weeks ago, and then when I looked today it was gone. I imagine its hard to fund your companies schedule without some FASTER funded projects. I wold love to know how much FASTER funds are used by your company. Care to share some figures?

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Harvey Lyon 1 year, 3 months ago

Well, here's my logic. Counties and Cities should be able to afford the basic funding of their roads and bridges without contacting the State or Fed.

If the State or Fed wants to build some high speed interstate commerce road then that works, but they fund the construction and maintenance.

Both hire the person who can best do the job at a reasonable price, as judged by educated elected officials.

Any deviation from this rule....and I mean ANY, brings cronieism and ill honesty into the mix. Favored contracts and friends of the wife's brother is rampant....leading to extra cost and lower productivity...to be nice.

My guess is Fred got the contract based on previous performance, lots of capital invested in "passing the rules", and a reasonable price. I could be wrong.

And I don't care what politician assigned what name to such a project. That's "I need to get re-elected politics".....to get that big retirement. FASTER is a political term meaning, " give me money and re-elect me!"

"Of the People....For The People" comes to mind.

Call me stupid or naive but that's the way WE work. And any double talk, fancy footwork or political two step from folks like Diane Mitsche Bush doesn't cut it.

My lack of confidence in local, State or Federal Government is one of the reasons I believe I need a gun.

We've had Presidents, who receiving a BJ under the Oval Office Desk, swore "they didn't have sex with that woman"....and he's hailed as a champion of the people. Give me a break...he lied to Congress. "Yeah...I got a BJ in the Oval Office....it was HOT!" would have maintained my respect for the fellow.

I want a hand shake to be as good as a written contract again, no lawyers involved.

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Pat West 1 year, 3 months ago

Seems from this website the Elk river bridge replacement is due to FASTER tax funding. So Please take time to call Randy Baumgardner and ask him to why he keeps triing to kill this tax while his region is directly benefiting from its funds. How long would it take us Routt citizens to come up with $3.1mil to replace this bridge?

http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/us40elkriver

RANDY BAUMGARDNER State Senator - District 8 Capitol Phone: 303-866-5292 E-Mail: randy.baumgardner.senate@state.co.us

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Fred Duckels 1 year, 3 months ago

Faster raised vehicle registration fees to finance road maintenance. It was a Dem idea and they had their agenda in mind regardless of the way the bill was sold. So FASTER is a smokescreen to get votes for everything but roads even if some money is used for this purpose in order to keep the faith. Some contractors have shown their support when they receive some of the funds but I look at the big picture. The highway trust fund has already had over 40% siphoned off to support public transportation that carries less than 3% of our traffic. Does $17,000,000,000 ring a bell? With decisions devoid of common sense it becomes obvious that there are those who consider tanking our economy as a means to an end. The decisions at our state legislature are all about the empathy factor, painting the opposition as bad guys and the big motive is votes..

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Fred Duckels 1 year, 3 months ago

On highway projects you will see the FASTER logo to show the benefit but other pet projects go unidentified..

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