Editorial: Could dropping the state gas tax help fund transportation in Colorado?

As Colorado steers toward more electric vehicles — a major initiative of the Polis administration — the impact on the state’s revenue from gas taxes is expected to continue to head south.

And that means less money for transportation projects.

Two lawmakers — one Republican, one Democrat — hope to stave off an expected decline in the already low gas tax revenues collected by the state and which go into the state’s Highway Users Tax Fund.

The gas tax hasn’t been updated since 1991, when it was set at 22 cents per gallon. While that’s good news for consumers who use gas-powered vehicles, it’s not so good for state transportation that relies heavily on those taxes.

The Colorado Department of Transportation estimates that the gas tax brings in about half as much revenue as it did almost 30 years ago, with more drivers using other forms of fuel, such as natural gas and electric. At the same time, the costs of upkeep for the state’s roads has doubled, CDOT claims.