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Senate Republicans Support Prop. 400 Extension Plan Outlined in SB 1246

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, June 13, 2023



Senate Republicans Support Prop. 400 Extension Plan Outlined in SB 1246


PHOENIX, ARIZONA— After months of negotiations between state lawmakers, stakeholders and local elected officials, Senate Republicans are outlining a proposal for an extension of Proposition 400, which passed both chambers of the Legislature this evening with Majority support.


The half-cent sales tax to fund major transportation projects in Maricopa County has been in place since 1985, when voters approved a ballot measure vetted, supported and referred by the Legislature. On November 2, 2004, voters approved an extension of Proposition 400 for 20 years, which ends on December 31, 2025.


The Proposition 400 extension supported by Republican Legislators and outlined in SB 1246 establishes two questions to be placed on the ballot. Question number one covers funding for freeways, arterial roads and the bus program. If voters approve the proposed 0.43% sales tax on question number one, this plan would increase funding for highway projects by $1.47 billion more than the proposal being pushed by Governor Katie Hobbs and the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG). It would also shift $1 billion from undefined uses like 'active transportation' and 'air quality' to actual arterial road projects that drivers use every day. If voters approve the proposed 0.065% sales tax on question two, MAG will receive their request for light rail rehabilitation.


"MAG's proposal is a shell game, where local road project funds are diminished to allow for light rail expansion," said Senate President Warren Petersen. "Our Prop. 400 extension proposal allows voters to fully evaluate the transportation plan on its merits to determine which funding options best fit their preferred commute patterns. If voters approve question one and reject question two, the valley's freeways, arterial roads and bus program will be fully funded, and the sales tax will be reduced by 13%."


"Senate and House Republicans crafted a sensible plan which properly invests in providing better roads for a safer, quicker and less congested commute for our Valley taxpayers," said Senator Jake Hoffman. "This plan also reins in the total failure of a light rail system that big city Democrats are fixated on. Most importantly, this plan gives voters the opportunity to cut taxes by as much as $3.37 billion, and it guarantees voters a tax cut of $241 million. Katie Hobbs' and MAG's proposal is simply out of touch with the needs of our Maricopa County citizens."


"MAG has argued voters should get to decide on a tax extension to fund freeways and roads, while including heavy subsidies for an inefficient and unpopular light rail system," said Senator David Farnsworth. "This proposal gives our taxpayers a choice as to where their dollars go, instead of forcing them to support light rail in order to receive funding for the hundreds of miles of critical freeway and street projects needed to allow them to get to their destinations in a safe and timely manner."


Highlights of SB 1246:

· Increases freeway funding, from Governor's current proposal of 40%, to 46%

($1.47 billion).

· Shifts Governor's proposal of $1 billion in funding for undefined programs like air

quality, pedestrian paths and bike lanes, to actual major road projects.

· Establishes transit efficiency requirements, where Valley Metro should achieve

ridership benchmarks of peers in other states, otherwise, outsource operations to

the private sector.

· No 'road diet' lane restrictions on highways slowing commute times, only lane

modifications to ease congestion.

· No bans on internal combustion engines.

· No light rail expansion.

· Adds Legislative appointments of actual industry members to join the Maricopa

Association of Governments.


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For more information, contact:

Kim Quintero

Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus


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