PUEBLO — In the 2021 election, Pueblo voters decided which is more important to them: Driving on better roads, or seeing tax dollars put back into their wallets.
Unofficial results as of 11:00 p.m. with 90% of precincts reporting
|Pueblo 2A Road Revenue||Votes||Percentage|
With the measure looking to pass Ballot Issue 2A will allow the city to keep excess sales tax revenue and use it to repair several roads throughout Pueblo.
“If you want to live in a progressive, good economy, community… You need to have good roads, plus we want to be a tourist destination," said Steve Nawrocki, Chair of the Revenue for Roads (2A) ballot initiative.
The total amount of excess tax dollars from 2020 expected to go towards the project equates to $576,609.00. The amount taxpayers would lose is "estimated at less than $6.61/resident over 18 years of age, plus the excess 2021 revenues".
With the ballot issue passing, the city has the right moving forward to continue using excess revenue in the following years to "spend a minimum of $5,000,000 annually for street maintenance and repairs and road improvements within the city" according to the ballot language.
Most people in town have said that roads are a problem throughout the city, referring to them as "Lousy", "Terrible", and "Grim".
However, some have said do not necessarily agree with the idea of losing tax returns to fund the projects.
“While we really need to desperately fix our roads, the city, I think, really gets quite a bit of revenue to do that. They’re just not choosing to do it appropriately," said Lee Gladney, who opposes 2A.
Gladney owns Pueblo Bearings and says he pays $50.00 per month in Enterprise fees, a fee business owners pay which Gladney says is supposed to go directly towards road repair.
Gladney says he understands Pueblo's continuing growth means the money put into infrastructure to sustain that growth must also increase, but does not feel that ideology is already being mirrored throughout the city.
“Does that money, as much revenue as they are talking about, is that really comparative with what we’re seeing as far as growth in Pueblo? ... I’m just… I’m not there,” said Gladney.
Gladney also pointed out that Pueblo receives money from the Colorado Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF), the gas tax which is supplemented monthly for road repairs.
According to a breakdown of the total amount of funds on the website advocating for 2A:
✓$2.8 million from the Street Repair Utility Enterprise,
- Estimated amount available for street repairs in 2022 ($10 million) include:
✓$2.2 million from the Colorado HUTF (Highway Users Tax Fund), and
✓$5 million in excess revenue (projecting a 10% increase in sales tax revenues)
Nawrocki says the additional funds from taxes are needed because “The cost of everything has gone up tremendously."
Read the full ballot issue 2A here.