State lawmakers running out of time to extend transportation sales tax funding
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- So far this year, plans to extend a major funding source driving the Valley’s transportation system have stalled at the state Capitol. Voters first approved the half-cent transportation sales tax, known as Prop. 400, back in 1985. Nearly 20 years later, the voters approved it for a second time.
However, the tax is set to expire at the end of next year unless voters get a chance to approve it for a third time. But so far, it looks like voters won’t get that chance because several proposals to send Prop. 400 to the ballot for a third time have gone nowhere.
Mesa Mayor John Giles has been one of the leading proponents of sending the issue back to the voters. Giles said he’s hopeful that some wheeling and dealing at the Legislature will result in lawmakers sending the Prop. 400 to the 2024 ballot. “Politically there might be some horse trading involved when it comes down to the budget and the governor trying to get things out of the Legislature, we would certainly ask her to prioritize Prop. 400,” Giles said Friday.
Over the past four decades, the money from Prop. 400 has helped pay for major free freeway projects like the Loop 101 and Loop 102 and mass transit projects, including the light rail. However, the current plans at the Legislature do not include money for the light rail expansion. Republicans have historically opposed light rail.
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