Colorado committee backs car fee hikes, tolling |

Colorado committee backs car fee hikes, tolling

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” A House committee backed a proposal to raise car registration fees to pay for bridge and road repairs late Tuesday despite concerns about how the hikes would affect people struggling during the recession.

The House Transportation and Energy Committee voted 6-5 to support the bill and send it to the appropriations committee. All Democrats on the committee voted for the bill, while all Republicans voted against.

Lawmakers on both sides of the vote said they were concerned about raising fees during the economic downturn. But Rep. Joe Rice, D-Littleton, said without more money, the state’s roads will continue to deteriorate and cost more to fix later. “The cost of doing nothing is greater to individual pocketbooks and to the state as a whole,” he said.

Rep. Mike May, the leader of House Republicans, said he still hoped that a bipartisan proposal on transportation could be reached.

The measure (Senate Bill 108) would require owners of cars and SUVs to pay an extra $32 this year and $41 next year. The bill would also raise trucking fees, impose a $2 daily fee on car rentals, and open the door to tolling on existing roads.

Contractors, manufacturers of supplies like concrete and asphalt, and construction engineers support the bill, saying it would save or create jobs lost because of the recession. Rental car companies oppose it.

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