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Would you pay more for better roads?

Pima Co. Supervisors to discuss 1/2 cent sales tax
Posted at 6:49 PM, Feb 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-02 20:49:54-05

TUCSON, Ariz - People love to say how they hate those rough Pima County roads.
But would you pay more to fix them?

Pima County Supervisors are looking at plans to raise sales tax to raise money for road repair.

Anybody who drives on Pima County roads knows they are in for a rough time, for themselves and their car., Now, Pima County supervisors may consider a plan that could give them, more money to smooth out these roads but like anything else it's going to cost you.
      
Pima County Supervisors are considering adding a half cent sales tax for roads.       
      
At mechanic shops like BrakeMax they see what rough roads do to cars.  As a driver, Ricardo Escarcega thinks paying more tax beats paying for repairs.

"If it's going to fix the county roads the roads that we have in the Tucson area, it's important because a lot of vehicles get damaged by the roads that we have right now."
         
Unincorporated Pima County has about 1800 miles of paved roads.  More than 1200 miles are rated “poor”, or “failed”.  The county figures it needs about 527 Million dollars to get those roads to at least "fair".

Deputy County Manager Carmine DeBonis says, “The property tax that the board enacted this current fiscal year only generated less than 20 million dollars to put towards that road repair need."
     
Gas tax is not raising enough to cover repairs. 

The county estimates a half-cent sales tax would raise 67 million dollars the first year, and 79 million in year ten. An alternate plan would gradually shift money to reduce property tax.
       
District 4 supervisor Steve Christy has heard the concerns raising sales tax to the nine percent range might drive down business but says bad roads drive off business too.

"Because nobody's going to want to move into Pima County when they see the condition of our roads.  Homeowners will lose property values because their neighborhoods are negatively impacted by the  condition of their roads."
       
And he says state lawmakers are considering a plan to raise sales tax and let the Regional Transportation Authority handle repairs.