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Pinal County Sales Tax for Transportation Stands


In 2017, Propositions 416 and 417, meant to create a half-cent sales tax for a regional transporation plan in Pinal County, were approved by Pinal County voters.  The Goldwater Institute, representing some Pinal County taxpayers however, filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the propositions.   

[Pinal County Elected Officials Banking on a Half-Cent Sales Tax to Pay for New Roads and Freeways]

State Tax Court Judge Christopher Whitten ruled against the county and the County filed an appeal. 

[Pinal County and the Regional Transportation Authority Respond to Goldwater Institute Lawsuit]

On Thursday, the state Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the county, stating the scope of the law complied with state law.

The half-cent sales tax has been collected by Pinal County since April 2018 and increased the county sales tax from 6.7% to 7.2%.  With the ruling, the county can now move forward with its proposed transportation projects.

Proposition 417 Deemed Valid by the Arizona Court of Appeals

(Press Release from Pinal County)
The Pinal Regional Transportation Authority Proposition 417 has been determined valid by the Arizona Court of Appeals. "I am very pleased with the outcome," stated County Manager Louis Andersen. "The County is ready to start building these critical infrastructure/road projects and have been for some time now. This is a great way to start the new year."

To recap some history, in 2015 the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) was established by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors to be a public improvement and taxing subdivision of the State of Arizona to coordinate multi-jurisdictional transportation planning, improvements, and funding.

Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy voiced, "Apache Junction and the surrounding communities are in line to reap huge benefits and improve our quality of life once the North-South Interconnect is completed."

The RTA adopted the Regional Transportation Plan in June 2017 (Proposition 416), which identified key roadway and transportation projects to be developed over the next twenty years. The plan explained both Propositions and the need for the excise tax (Proposition 417) in order to complete the planned transportation projects. In November 2017, Pinal County voters simultaneously approved Prop 416 to adopt a regional transportation plan and Prop 417 to enact an excise tax to fund the plan. However shortly afterwards legal action took place with the Goldwater Institute and a court ruling froze all monies related to the excise tax.
"This is a great victory for Pinal County and its residents," Chairman Anthony Smith expressed. "My hope is that we can finally get about the business of building the modern road network that the voters approved over two years ago."

To date, there is slightly over $29 million ready to be used for improvements. The RTA is extremely eager and anxious to finally be able to move forward with the much needed roadway and transportation projects.

"It is sad that the Goldwater Institute felt compelled to challenge the county voters approval of the RTA tax for road improvement," remarked Vice-Chairman Pete Rios. "Glad that the court of appeals ruled in the county's favor."

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Sunday, 14 April 2024

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