Arizona Lawmakers Pass Gas Tax Decision To Counties

By  Holliday Moore, Howard Fischer
Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 9:20am
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 9:29am

The wave of fuel efficient cars and better mass transit has created an unintended shortfall for road construction and repair.

That efficiency has meant fewer visits to the pump, therefore less chances for the state to collect taxes. Combine that with the state’s lack of a gas tax hike since 1991 and funding for construction and repairs has fallen behind nearly $200 million.

It’s a fact not lost on Mesa Sen. Bob Worsley.

“The gas tax needs to be addressed at some point,” Worsley tried to convince his colleagues.

But, without support for a gas tax hike by fellow Republicans or the governor, he has conceded this year to leave that decision at the local level.

“This means we're not raising taxes here," Worsley said. "But we let the counties do it if they feel like they need to."

It’s the first time the Senate agreed to let Arizona’s 13 rural counties ask voters directly whether to impose a one-cent sales tax on themselves for road construction and repair, a levy that could last up to 20 years.

The same bills would allow Pima and Maricopa counties to extend their own road sales taxes before they expire.

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