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New train in Denver, Colorado. (Courtesy Denver RTD)
New train in Denver, Colorado. (Courtesy Denver RTD)

Check out the one-sentence, 285-word transit question Denver residents voted on in 2004 Add to ...

Here is the question Denver residents were asked to vote on in 2004 when deciding whether to increase taxes for transit funding, an experience Vancouver could learn from. Despite the length of the question, voters were familiar with the issue and supported the initiative, 58 per cent to 42 per cent.

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Shall regional transportation district taxes be increased $158.34 million annually and by whatever additional amounts are raised annually thereafter by increasing the rate of sales tax levied by the district by four-tenths of one percent, from the current six-tenths of one per cent to one percent commencing January 1, 2005 and, in connection therewith, shall regional transportation district debt be increased $3.477 billion, with a repayment cost of $7.129 billion with all proceeds of debt and taxes to be used and spent for the construction and operation of a fixed guide way mass transit system, the construction of additional park-n-ride lots, the expansion and improvement of existing park-n-ride lots and increased bus service including the use of smaller buses and vans and alternative fuel vehicles as appropriate, as specified in the transit expansion plan adopted by the board of directors of the district on or before April 22, 2004 and shall debt be evidenced by bonds, notes or other multiple-fiscal year obligations including refunding bonds that may be issued as a lower or higher rate of interest and including debt that may have a redemption prior to maturity with or without payment of a premium, payable from all revenues contributions and other revenues as the board may determine, and with such revenues raised by the sales tax rate increase and the proceeds of debt obligations and any investment income on such revenues and proceeds being exempt from the revenue and spending restrictions contained in section 20 of article X of the Colorado constitution until such time as all debt is repaid when the rate of tax will be decreased to that amount necessary for the continued operation of the system but not less than six-tenths of one percent.

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