Some Arizona state lawmakers propose splitting up Maricopa County

Two proposals have been presented which would break up the state's largest county.
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 5:38 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 6, 2023 at 10:52 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona legislators are considering splitting up Maricopa County.

There are two measures being presented that would chop up Maricopa County into smaller governments, backers say. One GOP critic, Maricopa County Treasurer John Allen, said he believes it will do the exact opposite and that the measures are instead motivated by political revenge. “This is about a punishment for an election that a few feels didn’t go the way it should,” he said. Allen, a lifelong Republican, served 11 years in the state Legislature. He says any plans to divide the county would go against the GOP’s belief in less government.

The two proposals suggest dividing the county into four parts: a smaller Maricopa County, Hohokam County, Mogollon County, and O’odham County. The supporters say that under one plan, voters would decide if they want these separate counties. Allen said he believes taxpayers in the newly named areas will have a heavy financial burden since they’ll have to pay to create a new sheriff’s department and all other essential county services. “You’ll have to have three new court systems, three new community college board systems,” Allen said. “Whether you have a community college in that district at all, the Maricopa County hospital.” Republican Sen. Jake Hoffman has authored one of the two proposals and says it allows plenty of time for the proposed counties to adjust accordingly.

In the past, Hoffman questioned election results and was one of the “fake electors” after the 2020 elections who backed Donald Trump and has sponsored numerous election-related bills over the past few years. When told that the bill is believed to be political revenge, Hoffman said, ”That couldn’t be further from the truth. This has absolutely nothing to do with elections.”

correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Maricopa County officials as the bill's authors. Arizona's Family regrets the error.