HB 2685 will allow voters to continue transportation progress
For Immediate ReleaseContact: Kelly Taft, MAG, 602-452-5020
PHOENIX (June 24, 2022) — A bill that would allow Maricopa County voters to extend a dedicated half-cent sales tax and continue regional transportation investment in the region has passed the Arizona Legislature and now heads to the Governor for consideration.
Yesterday, the Arizona Legislature approved HB 2685, which directs the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to place a question on the ballot for voter consideration in the spring of 2023.
“This was a monumental accomplishment, and we are grateful for the tireless efforts of our bill sponsors, Senator (Tyler) Pace and Representative (Frank) Carroll, as well as President (Karen) Fann and Speaker (Rusty) Bowers,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles, immediate past chair of the Maricopa Association of Governments, who has championed the legislation. “MAG is excited for another opportunity to collaborate with Governor Ducey to invest in our economy and maintain our region’s prosperity, job growth and quality of life. The partnership between the region and state has resulted in significant accomplishments over the past 35 years,” he said.
Recently, regional funding under the Proposition 400 program was coupled with state funding to secure a federal grant to widen I-17 between Phoenix and Sunset Point; that work is expected to begin later this year. In May, MAG Transportation Policy Committee Chair Mayor Kevin Hartke joined Governor Ducey to celebrate the signing of a bill to allocate $400 million to widen I-10 between Phoenix and Casa Grande.
“This funding, coupled with more than $200 million of regional funding, will help deliver this much needed project, ensuring the safe, efficient movement of people and goods across southern Arizona,” said Mayor Hartke.
Transportation projects funded through Proposition 400 have also played a vital role in bringing new jobs to our region. The dedicated half-cent sales tax has funded numerous projects that support a strong economy. Examples include:
- The Loop 303 (Estrella Freeway) improvements needed to support the new Taiwanese Semiconductor Manufacturing Company facility—Arizona’s largest-ever direct foreign investment.
- The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport area continues to see significant growth supported by the regionally funded State Route 24 extension.
- Significant commercial growth is occurring in the Southwest Valley because of regional investments in I-10, Loop 303 (Estrella Freeway), and Northern Parkway.
The extension of Proposition 400 will continue the legacy of regional investment in transportation that first started back in 1985. As part of the extension’s investment plan, funding has been identified for critical projects, including the construction of State Route 30, improvements to Interstates 10 and 17, and significant investments in arterial roadways, new transportation technologies, and improved transit services.
“We look forward to seeing this needed measure before voters in the spring of 2023 and seeking approval to continue advancing the nation’s most well-planned, comprehensive regional transportation system,” said incoming MAG Chair Kenneth Weise, Mayor of Avondale.