On Nov. 5, 2013, Boulder voters approved two tax measures that will provide critical funding for transportation operations and maintenance and core system enhancements until 2029.
What measures passed?
- Interim, 6-year .15¢ dedicated sales tax for transportation that will expire on Dec. 31, 2019.
- Renewal and reallocation of .15¢ open space tax. These funds will be allocated to transportation until Dec. 31, 2029. After that time they will be reallocated to the city's General Fund.
How will the money be spent:
Transportation funding will be used to:
- Fund the backlog of operations and maintenance projects for the city’s Transportation system;
- Operate and maintain basic service levels for roadway pavement, sidewalks, bike lanes, off-street paths, snow removal and street sweeping; and
- Provide core system enhancements and maintain transit service hours.
This 16-year dedicated funding strategy would help maintain the city’s transportation system, while the
community develops a local, sustainable approach to funding transportation in the long term.
July 16, 2013 | 6 p.m. | 1777 Broadway, Council Chambers - First reading and public hearing of potential ballot items, including a sales tax for transportation.
From the memo:
The proposed ordinance would dedicate .20 cent of the .33 cent tax renewal to transportation maintenance, expansion and mass transit. This would be expected to produce approximately $5.6 million each year. These dedicated funds would not be available until 2019. Accordingly, the proposed ordinance includes a proposed interim tax with .20 cent dedicated to transportation. This tax would sunset in 2019 when the funds from the .33 cent tax become available.
June 18, 2013 - All potential ballot measures, including transportation funding will be discussed by City Council.
- See the council agenda item for more details
April 9, 2013 - City Council study session discussing transportation funding
- See the study session memo and summary for more details
At the meeting, council feedback included:
- general agreement that additional funding for transportation is needed
- support of revenue levels that would cover basic operations and maintenance as well as funding for system enhancements
- request for more analysis related to potential funding sources
- general support for a 2013 ballot measure
As part of the 2013 TMP Update, the Transportation Division is exploring funding mechanisms to better maintain the city’s extensive transportation system.
Since 2001, transportation funding has stagnated while inflation and construction costs have increased. This scenario creates a substantial gap in transportation’s purchasing power.
In 2012, council endorsed staff and the Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) to form a community task force to study and formulate options for a potential Transportation Maintenance Fee (TMF) and to consider other options to address the city’s significant unfunded transportation operations and maintenance needs.
On Dec. 18, 2012, staff, TAB and the task force presented the TMF work to date. At that time, council asked staff to get community feedback before a TMF Study Session on April 9, 2013.
To gather input from Boulder residents, a telephone poll was conducted between Feb. 24 and March 5, 2013 by Talmey-Drake Research and Strategy, Inc. The objectives of the poll were to gauge the likelihood of success for ballot initiatives to fund city transportation projects and measure the relative importance to voters of different transportation projects on which the new revenue might be spent. The poll tested both a sales tax and a fee that would raise either $3.5 million or $5.5 million per year.