Let Those Bridges Fall (2012 Edition)

7NEWS reports:

Rep. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs is bringing his tag fee repeal to a Republican House committee Wednesday. The GOP-controlled House approved the idea last year, but the lower fees were rejected in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Baumbgardner’s bill would lower late registration fees from $25 a month to a flat fee of $20 total. It would also repeal an exemption from the late fee for a vehicle that has expired temporary registration number plates, tags or certificates.

Each year since the 2009 passage of the FASTER vehicle registration fee increases to pay for repair and replacement of decaying and obsolete bridges around the state, Republicans have splashily introduced legislation to repeal all or part of the program. Rep. Randy Baumgardner’s new proposal to reduce late fees may be a little more restrained than other wholesale repeals attempted before, but it still won’t fix the bridges that FASTER is paying to fix. The bill’s fiscal note estimates it will reduce available revenue for these repair projects by $12 million per year.

As of this month according to the Colorado Department of Transportation, of the approximately 120 bridges in Colorado rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and rated ‘poor,’ meaning they qualify for funds under FASTER, 18 projects are now completed–with 16 under construction, 13 with completed designs, and 44 in design right now. Here’s an updated list from CDOT of FASTER projects by county with anticipated completion dates.

We were thinking maybe Rep. Baumgardner will tell you which ones shouldn’t be completed.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    get together with like minded bridge users and have a bake sale or something. Don’t give your money to the government.  You know how to spend it better than they do. Or maybe every bridge should be a privately owned toll bridge and you’re free not to use bridges if you don’t like it.

  2. MADCO says:

    Though it does involve an individual mandate to buy auto insurance with medical care included.

    Or we could all avoid bridges and tunnels.  Loveland pass is beautiful.

  3. The realistThe realist says:

    I believe, not Hot Sulphur Springs.  Cowdrey is in Jackson County.  He either moved from Grand to Jackson County – or said he had moved – a few months ago, perhaps when he believed he needed to do that to run for re-election in district similar to his current one, before the reapportionment process was done?  I’m not sure.  Don’t know if he moved, or just leased some land.

    As it turns out, he’s primarying Sen Jean White in the new SD8 rather than run for re-election in his House District.  So, guess he needs a high-profile issue to campaign on.

  4. scarter says:

    if memory serves me, when Baumgardner ran for his seat the first time, he listed his job as a maintenance worker with CDOT.  

  5. Fidel's dirt nap says:

    The solution to every single problem in Colorado, and America.

    That $ 5 bill back in your pocket is going to put you in the 1 % sooner than you think.

  6. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    Here’s the real reason Rep. Baumgardner is advocating for this:

    http://www.kwgn.com/news/kdvr-

    “In the economic decline, businesses had idle vehicles they chose not to register,” Baumgardner, R-Hot Sulphur Springs, told FOX31 Denver Wednesday. ”

    “Now the economy has picked back up and they’re looking to register these trailers, and the fines are keeping them from getting back in business.”

    “I talked to a gentleman earlier who said, ‘I’ve got 50 trailers I’m getting ready to put back on the road — at $100 a pop, that’s going to cost me $5,000 just in fees, late fees, not counting the registration fee’.”

    Baumgardner said the fees have a disproportionate impact on farmers and ranchers, who own and operate a larger fleet of vehicles, but that ordinary families have often been forced to choose between registering their vehicles and paying rent or buying groceries.

    No, forget that, he’s just a heartless conservative bastard. Right, Pols? Right, echo chamber?

    • Fidel's dirt nap says:

      over the safety of our entire transportation system.  Hell, it worked for Minnesota, why don’t we give it a try.

    • Does the state have a provision for idle vehicles?  Don’t have to carry insurance or registration if the vehicle is declared idle or something and doesn’t show a meaningful change in mileage between idling and re-activating?  Tying any FASTER exemption to such a status would be the correct solution to that problem; and if the state doesn’t offer that designation, then perhaps a bill to create one would be in order.

      With families struggling to make ends meet, tying an exemption to a showing of financial downturn and generally low income would again be a better solution.

      Baumgardner’s bill not only lowers the penalty from a per-month to a single payment, but even lowers the amount of that single payment vs. one month of being late.  The bill is plain and simple another Republican attempt to stifle the government we need to keep – in this case, to keep our bridges from collapsing for lack of maintenance.

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