Expect Delays: Front Range Mayors Want to Put Off Vote on Rail Tax Increase

May 22 2009, 10:49 AM

Facing a $2.2 billion shortfall in funding, mayors from 40 cities and towns surrounding Denver want voters to double the current 0.4 percent sales tax to expand light rail. But rather than campaign for the extra cash this November, the mayors want the Regional Transportation District's board of directors to put the ballot proposal off for one more year, reports The Denver Post. The move comes as Cal Marsella, RTD's general manager, plans to leave for a job in the private sector at the end of July, and Joe Blake, a light-rail cheerleader who heads the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, plans to leave his position to become chancellor of the Colorado State University system on July 1, notes the Denver Business Journal. The massive $6.9 billion plan, called FasTracks, would add six new rail lines in the region and extend three in Denver. Longmont Mayor Roger Lange tells the Longmont Times-Call he supports the delay "to make sure everything's in the strongest possible position to have a positive outcome." Meanwhile, a passenger-rail advocacy organization has filed a lawsuit to halt the redevelopment of Union Station, citing waste, writes the Denver Daily News.