Prop. 469 aimed at Pinal County road improvements not looking likely to pass
MARICOPA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - In Pinal County, Proposition 469 revolves around a half-cent sales tax that would help pay for a long list of transportation needs. Right now, there is 51 percent of votes against it and 49 percent of votes for it. “Being a resident in Maricopa, it’s been a bit of a nightmare,” Stephen Stacy said.
As a Pinal County realtor, Stacy wants people to live where he does. But as a Pinal County commuter, Stephen’s not as confident that will happen. “We’re at the point where the infrastructure does not meet the demand that was out here,” he said. “And the rate that we’re growing, it’s too dangerous.”
Stacy hoped Prop. 469 would pass to fund road improvement projects in the area, including a 21-mile east-west corridor from Maricopa to Interstate 10. But with nearly all county votes reported, there are more against this idea than for it. “I thought it was going to be a no-brainer for people to pass this,” Pinal County Supervisor Jeff Serdy said.
Serdy says the county faces traffic issues, especially getting in and out of Maricopa, worse than they were in 2017. That’s when two similar propositions implementing a half-cent sales tax for road improvements were passed.
About $87 million were collected before the Arizona Supreme Court ruled the previous tax was unconstitutional earlier this year after a challenge by the Goldwater Institute. “That should go back to the taxpayers,” Serdy said. “But the Arizona Department of Revenue is kind of leaning towards giving it back to the merchants. And it’s not their money.”
In a statement to Arizona’s Family, Goldwater Institute Vice President for Legal Affairs Timothy Sandefur said, “Pinal County voters know that politicians have wasted their hard-earned taxpayer money time and time again, and then followed that up by trying illegally to take more money from them. It’s little wonder they appear to have said no to being taxed again.”
For Pinal County residents like Stacy, Prop. 469 likely falling short leaves a lot of questions, as well as some disturbing answers. “I can guarantee we’ll be seeing just as many accidents,” he said. “I hate to say it but I guarantee there will be more fatalities. I don’t know what the solution is, I just know that something has to be done sooner or later.”
There are currently a little over 2,500 more ‘No’ votes for Proposition 469 than ‘Yes’ votes.
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