Despite vote, road sales tax likely to go nowhere

The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted, 3-2, on Tuesday to approve an ordinance that determines how to spend a half-cent sales tax for road repairs. But the chances of it crossing the finish line are virtually zero.

The fate of the Sales Tax Implementation Plan, which must pass the board unanimously because it’s a tax increase, will be decided June 19. Supervisor Ally Miller, who voted against Tuesday’s ordinance, has already said she would not back a tax increase to fix roads. Miller, who represents District 1 north of Tucson, says the county has enough money for road repairs if it eliminates wasteful spending.

Supervisor Steve Christy also voted against the plan. Christy, who represents District 4, which includes Green Valley, said he voted against the ordinance because of the caveat introduced by Supervisor Richard Elías, which would allocate more than $3 million annually for countywide social service programs over the course of the 10-year tax.

Christy said he would vote against the final resolution in June.

He said that leaves a comprehensive plan to fix Pima County roadways “non-existent in the short-term.” Currently, the only viable hope is if the state Legislature allows the county to increase the RTA tax to one cent, he said. Repairs for unincorporated roads will cost at least $330 million, according to county estimates. Christy said bringing all of the county’s roadways up to speed will cost $800 million to $1 billion. The 10-year tax hike would provide $353 million to repair unincorporated county roads and another $550 million to city and town transportation infrastructure maintenance projects.

Read the entire Green Valley News article here. Originally published on May 15, 2018.


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