Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents a coalition of property and business owners throughout Pinal County working to bring new transportation infrastructure to the county
(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)
Some Pinal County officials and business and community leaders have joined to promote a new half-cent sales tax for road construction that will come before voters in a special November election. The measure follows much discussion and planning over a long period, apparently out of a desire to get it right.
The group, called New Roads and Freeways Before It’s Too Late: Yes on Propositions 416 and 417, is headed by Pinal Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Miller, usually no fan of higher taxes. But Miller makes a key point: that the state is not likely to soon offer more money to build roads that are needed as Pinal County grows. An increase in the gasoline tax never is popular and isn’t talked about much.
The needs of the county are many, and the existing half-cent sales tax will not provide for many of them. Maricopa needs a bigger route into the Valley. A north-south link from U.S. 60 through Pinal County in the Coolidge-Florence area has been under study for years. Also included in plans are better east-west routes, local projects in eastern Pinal communities and others. Casa Grande would benefit in multiple ways with regional routes that connect to and skirt the city.
The next few months will provide adequate time for citizens to learn more about the plan. So far, however, the officials who do support it are making a convincing argument.