TUCSON, Ariz. - Having a rough ride down Pima County roads?
You can probably forget about a half-cent sales tax to fix them.
Pima County Supervisors can't agree on the tax and that will kill it.
The county complains the state starved county road budgets by grabbing a large share of gas tax money that would normally go to the county.
After about a year of study the county proposed a money raiser the state can't touch--a half cent sales tax to raise 910 million dollars over ten years.
Here's where we dive into county procedure to explain why the sales tax isn't officially dead but it's as good as dead. For that tax to go through it needs a unanimous vote. All five supervisors have to officially be on board but today in a preliminary vote to set the official vote next month two of them made it clear they do not support that and that means that tax is likely going down.
Supervisor Ally Miller voted no, saying the money could be diverted to pay for more than pavement.
"And if we can find three million in the general fund for social services why can't we use that money for roads."
Supervisor Steve Christy was an early advocate for a road sales tax but when Supervisor Richard Elias pushed to ease the tax impact on poor people by devoting other money to social services Christy felt the road plan lost its focus so it lost his support.
Elias agrees with Christy that the county needs some sort of coordinated plan to fix the roads.
He says, “Despite all the acrimony over roads and road funding I think the Pima County Supervisors have a good record of doing what we say."
But unless both Miller and Christy change their minds in next month's vote this sales tax for roads is dead.