Tom Warne Report, 18 May 2013
Officials in an Arizona County say the state gas tax needs to be increased, and they will be taking their case to the Legislature in the next session. The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of new ways to bolster the county’s transportation budget, including pushing the Legislature to pass a statewide 10-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax hike.
“You need to cast a very wide net when you approach the Legislature … proposing a dedicated funding stream on transportation,” said Supervisor Ray Carroll, adding that the county has tried every possibility to raise funding to fix its aging streets. “You never know what will hit a responsive chord.”
County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said the county has a growing backlog of street maintenance and the county needs to increase taxes to pay for the work. A recent county report found that one of the primary funding sources – the state Highway User Revenue Fund – hit a 13-year low in revenue during the last fiscal cycle.
Two counties in California, one in Arizona and the list grows of local governments that see federal prospects for money being slim and insufficient state money to meet their needs. Watch this trend continue to grow. TW