Amendment 52 Looks to Allocate Severance Taxes

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

If approved by you, the voter, amendment 52 would provide funding for Colorado transportation and dedicate funding to Interstate 70.
But one opponent says even though there is a need for funding, this isn't the way to get it.

Amendment 52 would take existing taxes to pay for state transportation needs. Part of 52 would dedicate half of the severance taxes from mineral and mineral fuel other than oil shale, to the local government severance tax fund.

Reeves Brown with Club 20 says, "It does so by putting a fiscal contract into the constitution which we are opposed to. We believe that ought to be the purview of the elected officials."

Supporters of the amendment say it's that change to the constitution that is needed.

"What this does is it protects those funds for transportation," says Amendment 52 supporter and Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce Member Ryan Longman.

The rest of the severance tax would go to the local government and then into a new state trust fund that would only be used to maintain and repair existing public highways, with priority given to reducing congestion on I–70.

Brown says, "How long will it be before the Front Range decides that they should put their favorite transportation corridor into the constitution and we get into this battle of dueling transportation priorities?"

But supporters say making i–70 a priority is a simple choice. "Drive I–70. Everyone and anyone whose driven i–70 knows what the congestion that we deal with, the issues we have on that highway system," says Longman.

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