by Pam Zubeck
The name isn't very catchy, and it hasn't raised much money yet, but those backing a "yes" vote on the extension of the region's road-and-bridge tax are off and running.
The Coalition to Extend the PPRTA (Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority) was formed July 2 to back the continuation of the capital portion (.55 of 1 percent) of the 1 percent sales tax to support transportation and transit in El Paso County, Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Ramah and Green Mountain Falls.
The tax, authorized by voters for 10 years in 2004, will expire in 2014, and the renewal will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The committee reports its address as that of Republican operative Sarah Jack, who also happens to be the consultant for the committee and has already collected $5,000 in consulting fees, according to the committee's July 26 campaign finance report.
It's raised a total of $11,000, which includes $5,000 each from the Colorado Association of Realtors, Englewood, and the Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs, and $500 each from consultant Becky Medved and contractor Danny Mientka, both of whom are 06ers (have Broadmoor-area addresses).
The committee has spent about $6,400 so far, including Jack's consulting fees and expenses such as postage.
The committee might face some competition on the ballot if El Paso County commissioners grant a request by Sheriff Terry Maketa tomorrow to place a .23 of 1 percent sales tax on the ballot.
Maketa argues that his department's ability to serve the public has deteriorated over the years. Although his budget has grown in dollars in the last five years, it's not been enough to fund upgrades to the jail and add personnel needed to assure statutory requirements are met, he says.
So far, a committee to support the measure hasn't filed paperwork with the Secretary of State, but then, there's no ballot measure to support yet. Expect commissioners to submit the question to the ballot on a split vote, with a majority arguing they'll let the voters decide. Commissioner Darryl Glenn has said he opposes placing the measure on the ballot without further public study and input.
The commissioner meeting begins at 9 a.m. in Centennial Hall, 200 S. Cascade Ave.