Jul 31, 2012 8:08 PM by Andy Koen

Voters to decide on 10 year extension of PPRTA

Another decade's worth of road improvement projects are on the ballot this fall as voters choose whether or not to extend the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority.

Proponents of the tax extension took elected leaders and members of the media on a bus tour Monday to highlight the program's successes and point out areas of need.

"We have made such great strides in this in about the last 8 years with that voter approved capital projects list that happened in 2004, it would be a shame to not continue on," said El Paso County Commissioner Dennis Hisey.

Colorado Springs City Councilman Val Snyder agreed pointing out the level of cooperation between the local governments to fund projects.

"It's an incredible example of the regional entities coming together and funding road and transportation projects that benefit the whole region."

The one percent sales tax is set to drop by more than half in 2014. Proponents have a $2 billion wish list of projects including crumbling bridges along S. Circle Dr. crossing Las Vegas St.

Jeff Crank of the taxpayer advocacy group Americans For Prosperity says his group doesn't support the extension, but they won't spend money to oppose it either. He says they don't want the transit authority to become a financial crutch for city and county budgets.

"Do with the money what you said you were going to do and don't try and then use that for social services, or for plowing roads or for maintenance of buildings or something like that. Use it for transportation."

One small change proposed in the second round of the is the PPRTA is addition of Calhan. It would join the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, the City of Manitou Springs, the Town of Green Mountain Falls and the Town of Ramah.

If the extension doesn't pass, then after 2014 the sales tax would be cut from 1 percent to 0.45 percent with the money being used to maintain existing roads and bridges.

Click here to read a draft of the ballot language.



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