(1) For purposes of complying with the provisions of section 20(4) of article X of the state constitution and upon receipt of a notice from the secretary of state stating that a valid petition has been filed and verified and the adoption by the board of an appropriate resolution, the board may submit to the registered electors within the geographical boundaries of the district at any general election or election held in November of an odd-numbered year, the ballot question set forth in subsection (3) of this section.
(2) A valid petition:
(a) Shall request that the board submit the ballot question set forth in subsection (3) of this section to the registered electors within the geographical boundaries of the district;
(b) Shall be signed by a number of such registered electors equal to at least five percent of the total number of votes cast within the geographical boundaries of the district for all candidates for the office of secretary of state at the previous general election; and
(c) Shall have the required signatures verified by the secretary of state in accordance with subsection (4) of this section.
(3)(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3), the ballot question to be submitted by the board pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall be as follows:
“Shall regional transportation district taxes be increased (first full fiscal year dollar increase) 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 percent to one percent commencing January 1 (first calendar year that commences after the election at which the ballot question is submitted), and, in connection therewith, shall regional transportation district debt be increased (principal amount), with a repayment cost of (maximum total district cost) 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 (specified date) 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 generated by said tax increase, federal funds, investment income, public and private 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?”
(b) The ballot question set forth in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3) may be modified by the proponents of a petition or by the district to the extent necessary to conform to the legal requirements for ballot questions and titles.
(c) If at any election a majority of the registered electors within the geographical boundaries of the district voting on the ballot question vote affirmatively on the ballot question specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3), then the rate of sales tax levied by the district shall be increased by four-tenths of one percent to a rate of one percent.
(4) The provisions of article 40 of title 1, C.R.S., regarding the following subject matter shall apply to petitions that may be submitted pursuant to this section: Form requirements and approval; circulation of petitions; elector information and signatures on petitions; affidavits and requirements of circulators of petitions; and verification of signatures, including, but not limited to, cure of an insufficiency of signatures and protests regarding sufficiency statements and procedures for hearings or further appeals regarding such protests. The provisions of article 40 of title 1, C.R.S., regarding review and comment, the setting of a ballot title, including, but not limited to, the duties of the title board, rehearings and appeals, and the number of signatures required shall not apply to petitions that may be submitted pursuant to this section.
(5) Any petition shall be filed with the secretary of state at least ninety days before the election at which the ballot question specified in the petition is to be submitted to the registered electors within the geographical boundaries of the district. Notice of any question to be submitted to the registered electors within the geographical boundaries of the district after verification of the signatures on any petition filed with the secretary of state and at which election such question shall be submitted shall be filed by the board in the office of the secretary of state prior to fifty-five days before the election.
(6) Prior to the general election at which any question is to be submitted to the registered electors pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the board shall hold at least two public hearings in each of the counties included, in whole or in part, within the district.
(7)(a) No public moneys from the state, any city, town, city and county, or county shall be expended by the public entity or by any private entity or private person to advertise, promote, or purchase commercial promotion or advertisement to urge electors to vote in favor of or against any question submitted at an election pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(b) No question submitted to eligible electors of the district pursuant to this section shall obligate any funds of the department of transportation, nor shall the approval of a question by the eligible electors be construed as creating any commitment or obligation of funds of the department.
(8) If at any election a majority of the registered electors within the geographical boundaries of the district voting on the question vote in the affirmative on a ballot question to increase the rate of sales tax levied by the district and then, in a corresponding or subsequent election, a majority of the registered electors within the geographical boundaries of the district voting on the question vote in the affirmative to lower the rate of sales tax levied by the district, the district shall decrease the rate of the sales tax to six-tenths of one percent or to an amount necessary to repay all indebtedness of the district obligated under the approved sales tax increase, including any costs incurred with regard to necessary debt repayment brought on by a corresponding or subsequent sales tax reduction, and following such repayment to six-tenths of one percent.
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