Position Paper - SB 20-070

Author: Morgan Cullen

February 5, 2020

SB 20-070 doubles the presumptive ranges of fines for a broad spectrum of traffic offenses across the state and earmarks all of the new revenue generated to support county government programs – presumably county courts, district attorney offices and victims services.

While the prospect of raising penalties for traffic infractions may warrant thoughtful consideration, CML is opposed to way this revenue would be unfairly allocated by this legislation.

Revenue generated by traffic citations has always been used to support transportation infrastructure funding through the First Stream HUTF Allocation Formula and provides much-needed funding for Colorado’s state, county and municipal roads and bridges.

Instead of providing an equitable approach that respects a well-established and agreed upon distribution formula to every level of government, this bill proposes that all additional funding from SB 20-070 go solely to the counties for whatever programs they deem appropriate.

As you are well aware, the .22 cent per gallon gas tax has not been increased since 1991 and is a depreciating revenue source. Over the past 30 years, this has slowly created what has now become a systemic funding crisis in how we pay for critical infrastructure in the State of Colorado at every level of government. CDOT has identified approximately $9 billion in unfunded transportation needs around the state and, according to a statewide survey CML conducted in 2018, Colorado’s 270 cities and towns are experiencing a $4.5 billion shortfall for municipal road and bridge maintenance and improvements.

While CML would never presume to tell county governments how they should categorize their funding priorities, we do expect that the dedicated funding streams that cities and towns rely upon to fund critical infrastructure remain intact.

CML respectfully requests a “no” vote on SB 20-070.

Related Document

Position Paper - SB 20-070