Mar 202005
 
Authors: Ben Bleckley

A gentle, jar-free ride is cheaper than this year's model.

Ballots for the Fort Collins' municipal election are arriving at residents' homes throughout the city. Along with three council seats up for grab and the mayoral race are three ballot issues.

Ballot issue three, if passed, will extend a current 0.25 percent tax through the year 2015. At this time, the tax is set to expire at the end of the year.

Annually, this additional tax that amounts to 25 cents on a $100 purchase creates $6.2 million in revenue, all of which is used to maintain city roads. A gallon of milk would be taxed a fraction of a cent.

This small tax, which contributes greatly to maintaining transportation in the city, should receive an easy approval from college students.

Colorado weather contributes greatly to road wear such as potholes, which are created when water in cracks freezes and breaks apart the asphalt. More funds need to be allocated for road wear in Colorado than in milder states.

General road repair is important to drivers of older, out of shape cars that cannot take much wear and tear. Students make up a large part of the city's "dying-vehicle" owners.

This tax is important to all commuting students, however.

It is specifically aimed, although not limited, to the repair of curbs, sidewalks and shoulders. For students who utilize alternate methods of transportation such as biking and walking to commute between school and home and to get around town, the repair of these parts of the street are essential.

This small tax is even smaller for college students. Many will only be in Fort Collins for four years. While long-term residents must decide whether they want to extend the tax for another 10 years, it will only affect current students for a fraction of that time.

The beauty of this tax is that it is not new. Students have been charged for this tax all along. The ballot issue will only extend it for another ten years.

Ballot issue three is a clear choice for students. It keeps roads in good shape with consideration for all methods of transportation in a state where road wear occurs quickly.

Ballot issue one is also addressing a tax, specifically on groceries. It funds a number of city services widely used by college students, including the affordable housing office.

If you have not received a ballot, registered voters may cast a ballot at the Fort Collins Clerk and Recorder's office at 300 LaPorte Ave., in Fort Collins on April 5, 2005. Students can check their voter registration status at the Larimer County elections Web site at www.co.larimer.co.us/elections.

Ben Bleckley is a senior English major. His column runs every Monday in the Collegian.

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