BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1034
SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
|Votes: View--> ||Action Taken: |
|Refer House Bill 09-1034 to the Committee of the W|
Refer House Bill 09-1034 to the Committee on Trans
02:12 PM -- House Bill 09-1034
Senator Gibbs, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 09-1034. The bill permits Regional Transportation Authorities (RTAs) to impose a property tax of up to five mills if approved by voters. He provided background about the funding for RTAs and stated that Colorado has five of these authorities. Senator Gibbs explained that property tax increases must be approved by a vote of the people. He stated that RTAs are helping to fill a void in the state's transportation system in difficult economic times. He also discussed the work of El Paso County in establishing a RTA. Senator Gibbs responded to questions from the committee about the current law to form a RTA.
02:16 PM -- Ms. Sallie Clark, representing Pikes Peak RTA, testified in support of the bill. She distributed a copy of the Pikes Peak annual report (Attachment B) and a copy of El Paso county's sample ballot for the November 2004 General Election (Attachment C). She provided background information about the Pikes Peak RTA, its projects, and the voter approval of previous funding increases. She explained that a property tax increase must be referred to the ballot, and the bill gives localities an option to refer a mill levy increase to the voters rather than a sales tax increase. Ms. Clark also provided background about the projects Pikes Peak RTA is currently pursuing and funding for transportation systems.
Ms. Clark responded to questions about whether Pikes Peak RTA will raise sales taxes or substitute the mill levy. She also responded to questions from the committee about how much revenue a mill levy increase would raise. She stated that a mill in El Paso county is about $5 million. Ms. Clark also responded to questions about sales taxes and property taxes. Discussion ensued about whether to fund RTAs with a sales tax versus a property tax and the costs of property taxes to businesses in Colorado.
Senator Gibbs stated that he sees the bill as providing another tool for communities to use for transportation needs. He stated that what works in some areas of the state may not work in others. Ms. Clark responded that more communities might pursue the mill levy as an option. She responded to questions about whether property owners would have the option to opt out of a mill levy increase. Discussion ensued about property owners, property taxes, and assessing mill levies.
Discussion continued about the bill, providing local governments with additional tools, and the level of taxes. Ms. Clark responded to questions about RTAs and local taxes.
02:41 PM -- Mr. Dan Blankenship, representing the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, testified in support of the bill. He explained the current activities of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and the services it provides in the Aspen and Glenwood Springs areas. He also explained that most people who live in this area must commute to where they work and discussed traffic congestion problems. He stated that transit removes vehicles from roads that might otherwise be congested. Mr. Blankenship also stated that sales taxes are a volatile revenue stream and explained that the authority is looking for a revenue source that is more stable. Property taxes, he stated, would give the authority another option. He stated that the five mill levy would generate about $5 million in his area.
Mr. Blankenship responded to questions from the committee about sales tax authority caps. Discussion continued about this subject and the difference in how much the RTA would raise applying a property or sales tax for revenue. Mr. Blankenship responded to questions about whether the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority would pursue both options for revenue. Discussion ensued about the Colorado Supreme Court ruling dated March 16, 2009, regarding the mill levy freeze.
Senator Sandoval closed public testimony. The committee discussed whether to refer the bill to another Senate committee or to the Committee of the Whole. The committee also discussed potential conceptual amendments. No amendments were offered.
|TIME: || 02:56:30 PM|
|MOTION:||Refer House Bill 09-1034 to the Committee of the Whole. The motion passed 4-3. |
Final YES: 4 NO: 3 EXC: 0 ABS: 0 FINAL ACTION: PASS
The committee recessed.