Arizona Governor Vetoes Phoenix-Area Transportation Tax Vote, Shocking Local Leaders

Arizona state law requires Maricopa County to request approval from the state before it can send a transportation tax to the voters for approval.

2 minute read

July 11, 2022, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Phoenix Freeway Interchange

Tim Roberts Photography / Shutterstock

“Gov. Doug Ducey shocked local leaders — many of them Republicans — when he vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have allowed Maricopa County to ask voters to extend a half-cent sales tax to fund major transportation projects for the next 25 years,” reports Jessica Boehm for Axios.

The Proposition 400 sales tax has been in place in Maricopa County since 1985, and was extended once in 2004. The transportation sales tax is set to expire in 2025. “Proposition 400 has provided funding for almost every major transportation project in metro Phoenix, including Loops 101, 202 and 303,” according to the article.

The Momentum Investment Plan, a long-term transportation plan approved in June 2021 with the Proposition 400 extension in mind, targeted more than 350 miles of new freeway and highway lanes, including 186 miles of new HOV lanes, 1,300 miles of new or improved of arterial roads, and about 12 miles of new light rail, 37 miles of bus rapid transit, and 7 miles of new streetcar, according to the article.

The plan, and Proposition 400, has the support of  every mayor and tribal leader in Maricopa County, according to Boehm. Gov. Doug Ducey, however, vetoed the plan. In a letter explaining the decision, Ducey said: “now, with inflation higher than it has been in 40 years, is not the time to ask Arizona voters to tax themselves.”

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