Colorado SpringsHot SheetTransportation

Colorado Springs Mayor Suthers endorses Fix Our Damn Roads

Author: Joey Bunch - July 14, 2018 - Updated: July 16, 2018

SuthersColorado Springs Mayor John Suthers gives a thumbs up as he enters the celebration at Phantom Canyon Brewery in Colorado Springs for Ballot Issue 2A last year. (Photo by Christian Murdock/The Colorado Springs Gazette)

Colorado’s former attorney general and Colorado Springs’ current mayor favors using existing tax money over new taxes to fix Colorado’s roads.

Jon Caldara announced Friday that John Suthers had endorsed the proposed ballot measure to force the state legislature to put $3.5 billion into transportation improvements, including widening Interstate 25 and Interstate 70 to address worsening traffic jams.

The campaign, led by Caldara’s Denver-based Independence Institute, is called “Fix Our Damn Roads.”

Meanwhile, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce is hoping to get on the ballot to ask voters to approve a 0.62 percent statewide sales tax for transportation. Both sides have until Aug. 6 to turn at least 98,492 valid signatures from registered voters to get on the November ballot.

“Like most Coloradans, John Suthers is frustrated with how little the state has put into our crumbling roadways, and he knows it doesn’t take another tax increase to properly fund them,” Caldara said in an email to supporters Friday.

In the email blast Caldara also asked for volunteers to help collect signatures from those “voters who are sick of the traffic caused by the state pulling money away from roads to pay for Obamacare.”

Added the ever-witty Caldara, “Our attorney said that dead voters shouldn’t sign the petition, but I completely disagree.”

The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board wrote of Suthers’ likely endorsement of Fix Our Damn Roads on May 31.

The chamber wants a .62 percent state tax increase, which would bring combined sales taxes in Colorado Springs to 8.87 percent.

“That would be too high,” Suthers said. “We probably would not seek a renewal of 2C with taxes that high, even though a lot more road work would need to be done. One problem with the statewide proposal is that only 45 percent goes to state highways. The rest goes to transit, or is divided between cities and counties.”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.