TABOR item can win if properly worded
Members of the Grand Junction City Council and city officials who had hoped voters would approve an override to TABOR Amendment revenue limits Tuesday to provide the city additional funding for transportation projects should be encouraged by the election results.
Even though Referred Measure B failed on Tuesday, it was defeated by just 160 votes.
One can infer from this that voters in the city remain willing to consider reasonable funding proposals for needed infrastructure, just as they did when they approved the tax plan for Riverside Parkway in 2005 and again in 2008 when they approved a TABOR override to pay off the parkway early.
Measure B on this year’s ballot asked voters to allow the city to keep the extra revenue from the parkway project once that project is paid off, perhaps as early as 2015, and apply it to other transportation projects.
The problem with Measure B was that it lacked specifics. Voters didn’t know for sure which projects would be funded in what timeframe, how much they would cost or for how many years the additional funding would be needed. Additionally, because the parkway bonds won’t be paid off for at least two more years, the measure seemed premature.
Based on the narrow defeat of Measure B, it seems likely that a more specific TABOR override measure in a couple of years — one that includes a prioritized projects list, costs and a guaranteed sunset date — would find favor with voters.