Friday, May 2, 2008

Increased Motor Vehicle Registration Fees Proposals Dead

The Denver Post reports this morning that legislators have agreed to put off further discussions of raising the state's motor vehicle registration fees to pay for highway and bridge improvements and repairs.

According to the story:

"At a Capitol press conference this morning, legislators from both parties — flanked by color photo blow ups of crumbling bridges — agreed to meet over the summer to consider ways of developing an adequate and reliable funding stream for transportation and a bill for next year's session.

"'Transportation isn't and shouldn't be a partisan issue,' said Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction.

"In recent days, Penry and colleagues on his side of the aisle had explored a possible funding compromise with Democrats that might have included a smaller rental-car fee of $3 a day and possibly a formula for tapping as much as $70 million a year for roads and bridges from an expected increase in severance tax proceeds.

"In the end, legislators from both parties agreed that it would be better to scuttle the rushed effort to get a funding bill this session, and instead aim for a more comprehensive fix of the problem.

"A summer effort aimed at getting bipartisan support for roads and bridge repair might enable legislators to craft the 'whole solution' to the problem instead of 'one-third of the solution,' said Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver."

Earlier in the year Gov. Bill Ritter's Transportation Finance and Implementation Panel recommended a funding level of $500 million per year to adequately maintain Colorado's bridges and roads.