Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry last week urged the community’s top business leaders to assist the County in pushing higher taxes. “Too many Pima County roads are in poor to mediocre condition,” according to release sent out by the County.
According to the County, the American Society of Engineers recently found in its 2013 report card that 52 percent of roads throughout Arizona are in poor to middling condition, sticking motorists across the state with $887 million in repair and operating costs.
Huckelberry sent letters Friday to the Tucson Metro Chamber and seven other local chambers, as well as to the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association, the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Metropolitan Pima Alliance and the Tucson Utility Contractors Association asking them to help him sell higher taxes to Arizona legislators.
.“This is an issue that should resonate with the business community,” Huckelberry said. “Developing real growth and a vibrant economy remains our top focus – and that is contingent on having a strong, efficient network of roads that provides accessibility and saves time and costs. Now is the time to make sure we’re making wise investments in infrastructure that will advance our economic recovery and stimulate job growth.”
The Pima County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution May 21 that called upon the Legislature to continue the one-cent per gallon tax that currently goes to underground storage tank remediation and increase the state gasoline tax by 10 cents per gallon.
According to the County’s release, “Huckelberry called upon the business organizations to use their considerable clout to push state leaders for a solution. “The reality is there aren’t revenues to support the systems we have in place, let alone fund new ones that will support our needs in the future. We can’t afford to wait any longer to have this discussion.”
Tucson, which is Pima County’s largest population center, is the 6th poorest metropolitan area in the country.