Wednesday, January 20, 2021 10:08 pm

Think tank files suit to overturn the will of the voters on roadways in Pinal County

By Heather Smathers | Pinal Central

(Disclosure: Rose Law Group represents a coalition of property and business owners throughout Pinal County working to bring new transportation infrastructure to the county.)

A conservative think tank has taken up the cause of some Pinal County voters and filed a lawsuit challenging the county’s recently approved road tax.

On Thursday, the Goldwater Institute filed a suit challenging the legality of the passage of the Regional Transportation Authority’s tax under Proposition 417, which supporters said would infuse Pinal County with more that $620 million for roads over the next 20 years. Voters narrowly passed the plan in November.

Casa Grande resident Harold Vangilder serves as the plaintiff in the case. He said he’s proud to be associated with the Goldwater Institute and believes the challenge will be upheld.

Among the legal issues, Goldwater attorneys said, include confusion over the ballot language and that it creates a new tax bracket.

Statement by Pinal County re: Goldwater Institute Lawsuit

“It is unfortunate the Goldwater Institute is trying to stop Pinal County residents from taking control of their own infrastructure needs through the Pinal Regional Transportation Authority.

“The Regional Transportation Plan, as approved by Pinal County voters, answers the needs for roads and infrastructure that are going to carry our economic development efforts to 2018 and beyond. The people know that the state and federal government are not responding to the call for more roads, so they have voted in a viable and legal solution to managing our future transportation needs.

“Instead of clogging the courts with frivolous lawsuits, the Goldwater Institute should be on board with the voter’s efforts to unclog our roads. Due to this lawsuit, the county will spend valuable time and money defending itself against this action by the Goldwater Institute.

“In the end, the taxpayers will lose and the lawyers will win.”

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