When running for office, I promised to fight for the taxpayers of Pima County. Since being elected in 2012 to serve on the Pima County Board of Supervisors, I have kept that promise and remain committed to Pima County’s hard‐working taxpayers. I am now taking the fight to the Arizona State Capitol.
To that end, I recently visited the State Legislature. It was a visit prompted by a newly introduced bill, SB1264, County Motor Vehicle Fuel Taxes, introduced by State .
Though the state is not willing to increase the state gas tax, which is currently 18 cents per gallon, Farley’s plan would permit counties throughout Arizona to impose a 3% fuel tax of its own. That is, a new county fuel tax in addition to the state and federal fuel taxes consumers already pay. This is an additional 3% per the cost of a gallon of gasoline.
The county that appears to be the most eager to assess a new tax on an already struggling community is Pima County, which is currently among the nation’s poorest regions.
Though gas taxes were initially imposed to generate funds for road maintenance, the tax dollars collected by the county would not necessarily serve such purposes. In fact, the language of the bill cites that “The county shall transfer the monies to the Council of Governments for the County” wherein The Council of Governments would then proceed to distribute the funds; however, the destination of the funds is not articulated. There is no language in the bill assigning the monies for the purpose of road repairs, new roads, mass‐transit, etc. Such an ill‐defined bill would leave tax dollars vulnerable to questionable use.
Pima County already has a road fund; however, the problem in the county is the mismanagement of those funds, which have been used to pay off bonds as well as the salaries and overhead of the Department of Transportation.
I gathered information from an April 2013 Gallup gas tax poll and personally delivered it to 20 of the bill’s sponsors. An overwhelming 66% of the American public is solidly opposed to new gas taxes.
Clearly, a sound majority of Americans presented in the Gallup poll do not support increases in the gas taxes for their states, even when presented with promises of mass‐transit and infrastructure projects. There is also no evidence that such legislation is at all supported by the majority in any of the political parties or in any region of the country, and I am committed to making sure the voices of Pima County’s taxpayers are being heard above the political fray.
Also found is data showing that 10 states with the best roads in the country actually having the lowest gas taxes nationally, as opposed to the states with the highest gas taxes possessing the worst rated roads. Therefore, there is no correlation between the condition of roads and gas taxes.
What Pima County does not need is a new gas tax. While fuel costs alone have already increased exponentially, hiking the taxes – and imposing a new set entirely by the county – will create even more unnecessary burdens on struggling families and businesses, while filling the pockets of those who deliver nothing more than empty promises.
To stop the 3% county gas tax from becoming a new fixture in Pima County, it is imperative your State Legislators and Board of Supervisors hear from you! Call, fax, and email their offices and inform family, friends, and neighbors. Join me in stopping a 3% county gas tax from taking more hard‐earned dollars from the pockets of the residents of Pima County.