Voters in one of the fastest-growing counties in the country will decide next year if they want to extend a half-cent sales tax for another two decades to pay for major road, freeway and light rail projects in the Phoenix metro area.
The Arizona Legislature passed the transportation tax bill known as Proposition 400 on their final day of the session Monday before Gov. Katie Hobbs signed off on it.
The tax is expected to raise more than $1 billion a year. It was originally approved by voters in Arizona’s most populous county in 1985 and they voted to extend it for 20 more years in 2004.
Republican lawmakers worked with Hobbs, a Democrat, to get the bill on the November 2024 ballot.
If approved, it would require the county to levy, and the state Department of Transportation to collect, the tax for 20 more years starting on Jan. 1, 2026.
“We showed we can put politics aside and work across party lines to get big things done for Arizona,” Hobbs said in a statement Tuesday. “The passage of the Proposition 400 ballot measure will secure the economic future of our state and create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs for Arizonans.”
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego wasn’t happy with parts of the legislation, however.
“While it’s exciting that we’ve advanced Proposition 400, I remain disappointed that this critical legislation was coupled with an effort to cut revenue to cities, including Phoenix, as soon as in the next budget year,” Gallego said in a statement.