Officials in Colorado are racking their brains to figure out how to pay
for billions of dollars of needed roadwork. At this time, potential revenue
enhancers don’t solely target truckers.
As funding to build and repair roads and bridges has continued to
dwindle throughout the state, a Denver Regional Council of Governments task
force is looking for possible revenue sources. Among the potential sources of
revenue mentioned are increasing the state income tax and boosting the tax on
oil and fuel production.
Officials estimate that the Denver area will need about $13.8 billion
for roads during the next 25 years. Only $5.8 billion is expected to be
available, the Denver Post reported.
To help reduce the gap, council manager Steve Cook told the group that
increasing the state income tax by 0.1 percent could generate as much as $3
billion by 2031. Adding 1 percent to the 5 percent severance tax might raise $1
billion during the same time period, Cook said.
Other tax and fee increases to raise money for roads and bridges also
are being considered by the tax force, the Post reported. Some would require action by the Colorado General Assembly, and many
would need voter approval.
During a Sept. 8 meeting, the group was asked to consider a 3 percent
severance-tax surcharge. The surcharge, which is largely charged to oil and
fuel, could potentially raise $356 million annually for transportation
Other sources for capital drawing consideration by the council include
boosting various taxes and charging drivers for “vehicle miles traveled.” The
fee could cost truckers and motorists a penny for each mile driven, the Post reported.