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Thursday, October 17,2013

Election Guide 2013: Yes on Boulder Ballot Issue 2B

By Boulder Weekly Staff

City of Boulder Ballot Issue 2B
Sales and Use Tax

Vote Yes

Issue 2B is one of three tax-related measures on the ballot related primarily to funding for transportation and open space. This is the short-term one that would increase the city’s sales and use tax by .15 cents through 2019 to provide funding to transportation. City officials say there is a structural shortfall in the transportation budget caused by the combination of rising materials costs and declining sales tax revenue prompted by the recession. This tax increase would expire after six years because that’s when an existing open space tax ends, and a companion measure, 2D, would continue that tax but divert the revenues from open space to transportation and, eventually, the general fund. This short-term fix to the transportation budget seems to be the least controversial of the three tax measures, because most agree that the department badly needs the funding, and it doesn’t meddle with the amount of tax money going to open space in future years, like the other two do.

PLAN-Boulder County did not take a position on 2B. Co-chair Ray Bridge said board members were divided on the matter, in part due to concerns that the transportation master plan calls for widening intersections, “which is one of the best ways to increase traffic on the roads.” We think that 2B is sorely needed to address this widening funding gap caused by increasing costs and decreasing revenues, and while this funding is not intended to address flood damage, that recent natural disaster only underscores the need for sound infrastructure and the realization that our roads, bridges and paths have a long, expensive road to recovery ahead of them. Vote yes on 2B.

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