Tuesday, February 3, 2009

FASTER To Hit Senate Floor

The bill that would raise motor vehicle registration fees to pay for improvements and repairs to the state's highways and bridges cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee this morning, opening the door for the whole Senate to consider the controversial proposal.

SB 108, sponsored by Sen. Dan Gibbs, D-Silverthorne, was approved on a 6-4 party-line vote after the committee defeated GOP attempts to eliminate a study of alternative means to finance the state's transportation needs.

That alternative system, called "Vehicle Miles Transferred" or VMT, would, if adopted, require drivers to pay a fee based on the number of miles driven instead of a tax on each gallon of gasoline purchased.

The study would involve asking Coloradans to volunteer to participate. Gibbs said he thinks the study would be unlikely to have any significant impact on the way the state finances its transportation system for at least 20 years.

The measure now heads to the full Senate.