CASE STUDY ON LOCAL FINANCING TECHNIQUES: DENVER, COLORADO

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) has been working at finding and seeking acceptance of additional local and state funding sources to meet current and future demand for transportation faclities. Of the state and federal funds available to Denver, only 35 percent may be available by 1990. The Regional Transportation District (RTD), created in 1969, has access to the following sources of revenue: sales tax, federal grants, operating revenues, interest income, and property taxes. The RTD has also been granted the power to levy an additional sales tax. In 1972 the RTD was also given the power to issue up to $425 million in revenue bonds, backed by sales tax receipts, to finance a multi-model transportation system. In 1981 the Colorado Special District Act authorized the creation of metropolitan districts that provide two or more of various services, including transportation. The Special Districts have many powers, including those to enter contracts and agreements to issue bonds, including revenue bonds; and to charge and set fees, rates, tolls, and so forth. A metropolitan district may also provide traffic control devices, enter agreements with counties, the Colorado Department of Highways, or railroads; provide street or transportation services. The Special Districts can levy and collect ad valorem taxes, create reserve funds, issue negotiable coupon bonds, issue tax-exempt revenue bonds, and deposit money. Since metropolitan district funds used for street improvements are actually taxes levied by the private sector on the private sector, Special Districts are a mechanism whereby transportation improvements are financed by the private sector. The cooperative action taken by a number of metropolitan districts in funding major arterial and freeway improvements is the Joint Southeast Public Improvement Association (JSPIA), founded in 1982; its members help fund off-site improvements--that is, projects not necessarily located in a member's district but believed to benefit all indirectly. A 1984 report by DRCOG made recommendations embodying the following concepts: (1) traditional financing sources must be relied on if the necessary funding is to be attained; (2) an urgent need exists to develop an additional funding source for regional roads; (3) a joint transit and highway transportation funding effort is preferable to individual modal actions; and (4) jurisdictions should not be legally inhibited from pursuing policies to use public and private financial sources more efficiently.

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    • Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. This paper appeared in TRB special Report 208, Proceedings of the Conference on Evaluating Alternative Local Transportation Financing Techniques. Conference was conducted by TRB and sponsored by FHWA and UMTA, November 28-30, 1984, Denver, Colorado.
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    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • Scheuernstuhl, George J
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  • Publication Date: 1985

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 20-26
  • Monograph Title: PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONFERENCE ON EVALUATING ALTERNATIVE LOCAL TRANSPORTATION FINANCING TECHNIQUES
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    Open Access (libre)

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00451148
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 30 1985 12:00AM