Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Commerce City Unanimously Supports a 0.4 Percent Sales Tax Increase for FasTracks Program

COMMERCE CITY – The Commerce City Council tonight unanimously approved a resolution that backs a proposed 0.4 percent sales tax increase to complete the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) multi-billion dollar comprehensive transit expansion FasTracks program no later than 2019.

The RTD Board of Directors is in the process of deciding when and which sales tax proposal to put before Denver area voters– a 0.1 percent sales tax increase which would complete the FasTracks program by 2035, a 0.2 percent increase which would complete the program by 2027, a 0.3 percent increase for a 2024 program completion or a 0.4 percent increase to complete the program by 2019. The RTD Board is scheduled to vote Tuesday, March 8, on which proposal to support.

“Given the current economic climate in Colorado, it’s certainly a difficult time to think about backing any type of tax increase. But at the same time, as a council we need to be forward-thinking and consider what’s in the best interest for Commerce City,” said Commerce City Mayor Paul Natale. “Improving our transportation options sooner rather than later is critical to our community’s development. We need assurances new revenues will be used exclusively to complete the remaining unfunded corridors to provide benefits to all district taxpayers.”

Among the FasTracks lines yet to start construction is the North Metro Corridor line. This 18-mile commuter rail corridor is planned to run from Denver Union Station to SH 7/ 162nd Avenue in Thornton. The line will include a station in Commerce City, planned for the area of 72nd Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. City Council approved submitting official comments on the corridor’s Final Environmental Impact Statement tonight as well.

“We have a vested interest in getting the North Metro line built sooner rather than later because it will provide Commerce City with a vital link to downtown Denver,” said City Manager Jerry Flannery.

The city’s location inside several major transportation corridors is a unique trait of our community that makes Commerce City so attractive to developers, Flannery said, adding that providing citizens with long-term transportation options helps contribute to the quality of life in Commerce City.

“Our constituents have financially supported the extension of light rail, bus rapid transit and commuter rail throughout the metro area,” said Natale. “It’s important to complete the entire system voters were promised in 2004 sooner rather than later – especially to northern areas that have yet to reap the benefits improved transit service provides.”

No comments:

Post a Comment