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Ducey's veto on Maricopa County transportation tax could put future projects on hold, officials say

freeway traffic
Posted at 8:59 AM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 11:59:10-04

PHOENIX — Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed a bill on Wednesday that would have placed a 25-year extension of Maricopa County's transportation tax on the ballot as soon as next year.

The bill, also known as HB2685, would extend Proposition 400 in Maricopa County past its current expiration of 2025 to fund existing and future transportation projects in the region.

Ducey vetoed the bill citing rising cost of food due to inflation, high gas and housing prices and lack of transparency in the proposed legislation.

In a letter to Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Ducey said the ballot title and description are "inflated, embellished, and fail to accurately reflect the reality of this tax burden on Arizonans." He said the new bill was vague compared to the 2004 extension and that it reduces the amount of funding distributed to the regional freeway system.

Prop 400, or the half-cent sales tax that has been in place since 1985 and was extended in 2004, has funded billions of dollars for many of the region's transportation projects including Loops 101, 202 and 303; light rail and streetcar; arterial street investments and contributions to the area's multimodal network, which has led to more companies moving to the area in recent years — as seen with the industrial boom in the West Valley.

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.