NewsCovering Colorado


ELECTION RESULTS: Voters reject Prop 109 – Bonds for highway projects

Posted at 10:43 PM, Nov 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 12:19:02-05

COLORADO – The Associated Press is projecting that voters have rejected Proposition 109, otherwise known as “Fix Our Damn Roads” in Colorado.

Proposition 109, also known as “Fix Our Damn Roads”, would have directed the Colorado Department of Transportation to issue $3.5 billion in bonds for more than 60 roadwork projects across the state without raising taxes.

Proposition 109 – Bonds for Highway Projects

Yes 949,500 39%
No 1,468,773 61%


Arguments For

1) Proposition 109 accelerates the construction of essential highway projects without raising taxes
or fees. Building and maintaining a highway system are core functions of government. The state
has failed to invest sufficient funds to maintain and expand the highway system. The measure
corrects this by directing the state to prioritize highway projects ahead of other programs.

2) The lack of highway capacity is the most significant contributor to traffic congestion in the state
and causes delays, increases business costs, and reduces driver and passenger safety. The
measure requires the state to invest more money in transportation, improving the state’s
economy and quality of life.

Arguments Against

1) Proposition 109 commits up to $5.2 billion to repay borrowing without creating a new source of
revenue. This commitment diverts money from other programs, which may include education,
health care, and routine transportation maintenance. Furthermore, the measure would pay for
only a portion of the projects and fails to address the cost of ongoing maintenance of these

2) In 2018, the state demonstrated its commitment to transportation funding by pledging $1.0 billion
from existing revenue sources. If Proposition 109 passes, it replaces this commitment with
borrowed money. Borrowing is expensive. Under this measure, approximately $1.7 billion in
taxpayer money will be spent on interest payments.

Estimate of Fiscal Impact

Proposition 109 makes changes to transportation finance over 20 years. Its effects on state revenue
and expenditures are summarized below.

State revenue. The measure requires the state to sell revenue bonds, which will increase state
revenue by up to $3.5 billion. Under current law, bond revenue collected under Proposition 109 will
replace $1.5 billion in state revenue from the sale and lease-back of state buildings. On net, Proposition
109 increases state revenue by up to $2.0 billion.

State expenditures. The measure authorizes $3.5 billion in state revenue from the sale of bonds to be
spent on transportation projects. However, current state law directs other funding commitments to be
cancelled if the measure passes, resulting in a net increase in spending on transportation of up to $1.0

The measure commits up to $5.2 billion to the repayment of debt. These financing costs will replace
the $2.25 billion in financing costs related to the sale and lease-back of state buildings, resulting in a net
increase in financing costs of up to $2.95 billion.