Democrats Push for Action on Prop 400 Transportation Funding
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2023
PHOENIX – Time is running out for Maricopa County voters to decide on renewing Proposition 400, a half-cent sales tax that has helped the Valley cope with explosive growth for the past 19 years funding hundreds of miles of freeways, streets, and transit projects. Prop. 400 has helped the region grow, prosper, and attract major employers for years.
But that funding ends in 2025, and former Governor Doug Ducey put the region's and Arizona's economic future in jeopardy last session with an unexpected and poorly reasoned veto of a bi-partisan bill to authorize a new Prop. 400 election that would either continue the current sales tax or force Valley communities to go it alone for infrastructure needs.
House Democrats, led by Representative Leezah Sun, are pushing for action so that Maricopa County voters can determine the future of their transportation system. Sun is pressing for a hearing on the issue. Her House Bill 2527 has 40 co-sponsors and is nearly identical to the bi-partisan legislation that was inexplicably vetoed by Ducey. Sun's bill has been assigned to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.
"Maricopa County and our entire state economy will suffer if we don't set aside our differences and take action on Proposition 400," said Sun, D-Phoenix. "It's important to emphasize, if the Legislature authorizes the election and voters approve, this would not be a tax increase. It's an extension of a tax that our communities have been paying for nearly 20 years – and for nearly 20 years before that with Proposition 300 -- which has paid massive dividends for all of us who live, work and play here. I don't want to imagine where Arizona would be without it."
Local leaders working with the Maricopa Association of Governments have developed a comprehensive plan for the next two decades of expected population growth that, if approved, would build:
More than 350 miles of new freeways and highways, including 186 miles of new HOV lane.
1,300 miles of new or repaired arterial roads.
And 12 miles of new light rail, 37 miles of bus rapid transit and seven miles of new streetcar tracks.
House Democratic Leader Andrés Cano added: "Arizona is where people come to find the American Dream. This Maricopa County region will continue to attract new people and new businesses whether we prepare for it or not. We must do better. When businesses are looking to locate here, they care about our schools and universities, but they also care about freeways, our roads and our transit options. This isn’t just about moving people or goods, it’s about quality of life and looking at a state’s ability to plan for the future."