TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucsonans voted to raise their own taxes Tuesday night. More than 60 percent of the people voting approved a temporary sales tax hike for better streets and updated equipment for police and firefighters.
But when we will see the payoff out on the streets?
The money will help drivers weary of running down worn down streets, and help firefighters and police who've spent years nursing along run down equipment.
Raising Tucson's share of sales tax from the current two percent to 2.5 percent is expected to raise about 250 million dollars over five years. After five years the tax is supposed to drop back to its previous level.
Mayor Jonathan Rothschild is saying thanks, and promising voters they'll see results--fast.
Four years ago voters just barely approved Prop 409 to raise money for roads, The mayor thinks part of the reason this latest proposition passed with a roughly 20 percent margin is because the city showed it did a good job with that earlier money.
That money went mostly for major roads. More of this money will help that rough residential road that may run right to your house.
Mayor Rothschild says, “We are really catching up with our major roads. But as everyone knows who drives around our community our residential neighborhoods are in need of lots of work and this will help and that's what we have to do because we also only do as much as we judge the community is willing to pay for and I think we hit that balance."
The mayor says one of the first things the city will do with the money is order new fire trucks. They are not off the shelf items. They're big, complex and custom made so it takes some lead time to get them built and out on the streets.
And the time it takes to process sales tax and send it back to the city should make the money available in early September.