Proposal Glides through Last Turns in Statehouse
Denver, Colo. – May 1, 2009 – Late last night, the Senate gave the legislature's final thumbs-up to a bill authorizing special Colorado skiing license plates. The measure now makes its way to the Governor's desk for signing. The license plates, which depict a skier and rider enjoying their sports under a bluebird Colorado sky, should be available in time for next ski season.
Senate Bill 161 comes after nearly 4,500 people signed a petition to request that the Department of Revenue offer the plates. Senator Dan Gibbs sponsored the bill in the Senate and Representative Christine Scanlan carried the measure through the House.
For decades, individuals have been calling Colorado Ski Country USA's (CSCUSA) offices interested in a ski license plate to display their enthusiasm for Colorado's signature sport. Over the past several years, Colorado Ski Country USA has helped to organize these voices, putting out a request for signatures and petitioning the Department of Revenue to move forward with a ski plate.
Melanie Mills, Colorado Ski Country USA's President and CEO, explained, "A ski plate shows the reason why so many of us love living in Colorado. We already have people telling us they want to be the first in line to get their plate."
The Department of Revenue requires a minimum of 3,000 signatures in order to give its consent for authorizing specialized plates. CSCUSA's signature-collecting efforts exceeded that threshold quickly. Since that time, CSCUSA and the Department have been working together to design a plate depicting a skier flying through Colorado powder and a snowboarder doing a grab from a jump. The plate will bear the tagline "Ski Country USA." When this design is certified, Colorado will be the only state in the nation with a license plate depicting a snowboarder as well as a skier.
The bill zipped through the House over the past week, passing its final vote in that chamber on Tuesday. The Senate gave its final approval last night on a unanimous vote, which sends the measure to Governor. Senator Gibbs explained why he supports the measure, saying that "skiing is not only Colorado's best-known winter sport, it is what Colorado is known for all year round. We should encourage Coloradans to show their pride for the sport with a special license plate."
The state will collect an extra fee of $50 to issue the Colorado ski plate to drivers. The fee will help to pay for Colorado's roads and bridges. The state's legislative council estimates that, in their first year, the plates will generate about $30,000 in support for transportation on top of what it costs to make the plate, with even more new revenue expected in the following years.
Other states, such as Utah, New York, and Idaho, offer ski license plates. When vehicles with those plates travel to other states, the home state's ski industry gets extra exposure. Senate Bill 161 will allow Colorado to compete with those other states, giving our state's beloved winter sports publicity at a time when it is especially needed.
Colorado Ski Country USA expects the new ski license plate to be popular among skiers, riders, and other Coloradans who are loyal to the state's ski heritage.