Taxes for transportation

 Uncategorized
Apr 022003
 
Authors: Melissa Pester

Election day for the Fort Collins municipal election is Tuesday.

This year, the election is being conducted by mail-in ballot, which have been available since last week. On Tuesday, voters will not see polling places set up in their districts.

As of Wednesday, 13,192 voters had returned their ballots. That is 26 percent of the 50,738 active registered voters in Fort Collins, according to the City Clerk’s office.

There are two ballot issues this election, both of which look to increase taxes so the revenue may be used to fund transportation projects throughout the city.

Ballot Issue One is a city-initiated measure proposing a 0.25 percent increase in Fort Collins sales tax, and the use of this money to fund what the text of the ballot calls Transportation Capital Improvement Projects.

This increase in the sales tax would begin July 1 and would continue until June 30, 2013. The money generated from the tax increase would then fund transportation projects, all of which will be designated by Fort Collins City Council.

“I think these ballot issues are giving the message that cars are the way to go,” said Ksenya Gurshtein, a senior art history and English major. “We should be passing measures that would improve public transportation in Fort Collins.”

Some of the projects listed on the 20-year transportation master plan include Harmony Road, College to Seneca, the College Avenue-Harmony Road intersection and the Mason Transportation Corridor.

Ballot Issue Two will raise the tax on building permits for all new construction and reconstruction in the city at the rate of 1 percent of the project’s cost. However, this issue states exclusions for residential remodeling projects that do not create an additional residence, commercial and industrial remodeling projects that do not add square footage, and “affordable housing projects” that are defined by the City Council.

The Homebuilders Association of Northern Colorado has taken a stance against the 1 percent tax increase on construction in the city, said Dotti Weber, an executive officer for the association.

“The tax has the potential to be passed onto the homeowners,” Weber said. “We know that transportation needs to be funded, but this is not the way.”

The money generated from this tax will also help fund transportation projects designated by the City Council.

Members of the Best Issues Committee, an organization interested in informing Fort Collins about the Ballot Issues, were unavailable for comment.

Both ballot issues state that transportation projects will rely on the availability of sufficient local, state and federal funds and will be determined by the City Council.

Pull Box:

Proposed Projects

* HARMONY ROAD, COLLEGE TO SENECA

* COLLEGE/HARMONY INTERSECTION

* SHIELDS/HARMONY INTERSECTION

* TIMBERLINE ROAD, PROSPECT TO DRAKE

* TIMBERLINE/PROSPECT INTERSECTION

* MASON TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR

* LEMAY AVE., LINCOLN TO CONIFER RIGHT OF WAY

* COLLEGE/DRAKE INTERSECTION

* TAFT/ELIZABETH INTERSECTION

* SHIELDS/ELIZABETH

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