Tucson voters will decide if the city’s half-cent sales tax to fund road improvements will continue for another 10 years under Proposition 411 as Election Day is Tuesday, May 17.
The city’s asking for an extension of the tax it says could generate $ 740 million to improve every city neighborhood street over the next decade. Of the funds collected, 80% will go towards improving city street conditions and 20% towards road safety improvements.
The deadline to mail in ballots passed on May 11, but voters can still drop ballots off at one of several voting sites across the city by 7 pm on Election Day. Replacement ballots will also be available at most of those locations for voters who bring identification.
The half-cent sales tax first went into effect in 2017 when voters passed Proposition 101. The tax rate will not increase regardless of the election outcome, but a “no” vote would end that tax. The city’s current sales tax rate is 2.6%.
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The sales tax collected under Proposition 101, which ends on June 30, is divided between public safety needs and street improvements. The new ballot measure is expected to create seven times the amount of annual funds generated by Proposition 101 for local streets.
If Prop. 411 passes, the city says it will conduct an engineering analysis of all neighborhood streets to determine a path forward for improvements. All of the safety improvements under Prop 411 would be overseen by the Complete Street Coordinating Council, a public committee of 20 city residents who review transportation projects and oversee implementation.
The funding the proposition would provide is key to the city’s “master plan” called Move Tucson, which requires a boost in annual road work spending by more than $ 120 million – a 50% increase – over the next two decades.
The ballot measure received no opposition in this year’s voter guide, while more than a dozen other individuals and groups argued for Prop. 411, many citing the condition of Tucson’s local roads – 85% of which are in poor, very poor or failing condition – as the reason for their support. The Pima Association of Taxpayers last week put out a news release urging city residents to reject Prop. 411, saying the ballot measure had little specific information about the plan and how the money would be spent.
Contact reporter Nicole Ludden at [email protected]