Colorado Legislative Council Staff



No State General Fund Impact

State Cash Fund Revenue Impact

Local Revenue Impact

Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 98-082

Sen. Thiebaut

Rep. Swenson


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

January 6, 1998

Senate Transportation

Scott Nachtrieb (866-4752)



Summary of Legislation

            This bill would increase the fine assessed for driving in a high occupancy vehicle lane (HOV) with less than the required passenger limit from $50 to $75 for a 1st or 2nd violation and from $100 to $150 for a 3rd or subsequent violation within one year. The Department of Transportation (DOT) would also be authorized to institute a high-occupancy toll lane (HOT lane) system to allow a driver to pay a fee to use a HOV lane regardless of the number of vehicle occupants without penalty. HOV and HOT lanes would be physically separated from other lanes of traffic. The surcharge assessed and deposited into each judicial jurisdictions Victims and Witnesses Assistance and Law Enforcement Fund for violating this traffic offense would be removed. The bill will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the ninety-day period after adjournment sine die of the General Assembly, or on the date of the official declaration of the vote of the people as proclaimed by the Governor, if a referendum petition is filed pursuant to Article V, Section 1 (3) of the State Constitution.


FY 1998/99

FY 1999/00

State Revenues


Increased fines


State Expenditures




FTE Position Change



Local Government Impact — Increase in fine revenue - Loss to Victims Assist. Funds

State Revenues

            Under current law, citations for HOV violations are not point violations against a person’s driving record and there is no accurate assessment of the number of these citations issued. Most of these citations are issued by local governments. However, if the Colorado State Patrol issues the citation, the Highway Users Tax Fund (HUTF) would receive half of the revenued collected from each citation. The bill also allows the DOT to allow drivers to pay a fee to drive in the HOT lanes. Should the DOT adopt the HOT lane program, the HUTF would receive additional revenue from the fees charged to drive in a HOT lane. No estimate of the fee or of the number of persons that would use the lane has been made at this time.

            Section 20 of Article X of the Colorado Constitution, limits the maximum annual percentage increase in state fiscal year spending. Once total state revenue from all sources that are not specifically excluded from fiscal year spending exceeds these limits for the fiscal year, the state constitution requires that the excess shall be refunded in the next fiscal year unless voters approve a revenue change as an offset. Based on the current Legislative Council economic forecast, it is projected that the state will be in a TABOR refund position during each of the next five fiscal years. Any increase in state revenue from changes in fees, fines, licenses, or other revenue sources will affect the amount of the state revenue to be refunded.

State Expenditures

            If the DOT were to adopt the HOT lane program, the DOT would have some additional expenditures in collecting the fees and issuing permits to those individuals that want to use the HOT lane. However, the fee the DOT would charge would cover the cost of issuing the permit. No additional personnel would be required to conduct this program.

Local Government Impact

            Local governments would receive additional revenue from the increased fines. The amount of revenue would depend upon the number of citations issued within each jurisdiction. Local Governments would also lose revenue to the Victims and Witnesses Assistance and Law Enforcement Fund by removing the surcharge from this offense. It is estimated that the loss of revenue to these funds in each judicial jurisdiction would not be significant to these funds.

Departments Contacted

Revenue          Transportation