Friday, June 26, 2015

Road repairs are top priority, citizens say

Posted By on Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 3:38 PM

A huge majority of Springs citizens say the city's crumbling road network is the highest priority, above flood control, according to a poll conducted by Colorado Springs Forward, a nonprofit group formed to influence public policy.
click to enlarge A crater on Barnes Road. - CASEY BRADLEY GENT
  • Casey Bradley Gent
  • A crater on Barnes Road.

Other results of the poll show more voters support a sales tax rather than a property tax, despite the city's property tax mill rate being among the lowest in the state.

Here's a news release from the city about the poll. Look for a ballot measure at the November election on this topic, as well as a request by the city retain $2.1 million in excess revenue from 2014.

In a formal public poll of Colorado Springs voters regarding possible solutions to address the city’s deteriorating stormwater and streets infrastructure, participants overwhelmingly chose road projects (77 percent) as a higher priority than stormwater projects (14 percent).

Additional poll highlights include:
· By 58 percent, voters stated that if the Mayor and City Council were able to use funds from the existing city budget to pay for necessary stormwater repairs they would be willing to pay a higher sales tax or property tax to be used solely for road repairs. Twenty-nine percent stated they would not support a tax, and 13 percent were unsure or had no opinion.
· Based on a scenario to raise $50 million a year for road repairs, voters preferred funding repairs through a sales tax (69 percent), to a property tax (14 percent).
· Respondents also said that based on the information they heard they think the Mayor and City Council are moving in the right direction in addressing road and stormwater funding issues (75 percent).
· Sixty-five percent of voters preferred that any tax imposed be for five years and voters would have an opportunity to assess progress before deciding to extend it another five years. Twenty-six percent preferred a 10-year term.

Voters were also polled about whether the $2.1 million in revenues from fiscal year 2014 that exceeded the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) should be refunded to Colorado Springs residents or if the city should be allowed to retain the funds to be used towards other city projects. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they would support the city retaining the excess revenues, and 43 percent selected funding road repairs and trail improvements in city parks as a preferred potential project.

During the Council/Mayor Workshop held June 12, elected leaders discussed the importance of gaining voter opinion about the level of support for increased funding of city infrastructure before placing an item on the November ballot. This autodial telephone poll, conducted by Magellan Strategies, surveyed 769 registered Colorado Springs voters between June 22 -23, 2015. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.53 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval and was weighed based upon past off-year November election voting demographics. The poll was funded by Colorado Springs Forward.
The poll's questions:

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