What may seem like a way to improve roads without additional taxes is actually a lie—and an unnecessary measure.
No question, Douglas County's population has expanded exponentially in recent years. With this addition of new residents comes more people to pay into the tax base, which makes Douglas County's Referendum 1A highly questionable. While having better roads is optimal for any community, the problem with Referendum 1A is that there already is an existing infrastructure investment that is projected to be far too high for the size of Douglas County.
An argument against Referendum 1A from BallotPedia.org states:
"A portion of the $624 million projected County 2040 transportation needs is already funded by $120 million of cash and securities on the current County balance sheet. County’s projection of investment in infrastructure for 2040 is too high and related population increase projections are overstated. The County has existing infrastructure investment of $547.7 million which would grow to $1.17 billion by 2040 which is too high for a County of this size. Douglas County already spends significantly more than similar front range counties on total infrastructure investment per capita. Existing revenue sources of $85 million annually for roads and other infrastructure maintenance will grow sufficiently to cover transportation needs. The County should fund roads within existing means by reprioritizing spending. A fifteen-year extension is too long given that technology will lessen County future transportation infrastructure needs with increased efficiency and reduced demand. The .13% portion of the sales tax should sunset and give County citizens tax relief."
Why so much focus on advocating for new roads when there is already a support system in place for it? To make the County Commissioners look better if they get their way? Possibly.
Douglas County residents, please dig deeper into this Referendum before the election on November 5. One visit to the Better Roads for Douglas County's Facebook page shows that the public's opinion is far from in favor of Referendum 1A, and there doesn't seem to be much response from those running the show. When trying to read any comments made on their Facebook posts, it's evident that those in charge of the posts have been filtering public opinion.