Metro Phoenix Prop. 400 transportation tax on ‘life support’

By Jessica Boehm | Axios

An effort to continue a regional transportation tax in Maricopa County is alive, but its fate remains uncertain.Catch up quick: The sales tax, known as Proposition 400, was approved by Valley voters in 1985 and extended in 2004, but it is set to expire in 2025.

  • It has provided funding for almost every major transportation project in metro Phoenix, including the light rail and Loops 101, 202 and 303.
  • Valley leaders want to ask voters to extend the tax again but need approval from the state Legislature to hold an election.

Why it matters: Maricopa County has been ranked as the fastest-growing county for much of the past decade, and local leaders and experts say the Valley needs to invest in more freeways, roads and transit to keep up.

  • More investment in public transportation is also needed to meet federal air quality standards, leaders told Axios Phoenix.

The latest: Two bills that would allow the county to hold the transportation tax election are under consideration in the Legislature. Both seriously deviate from the transportation plan that a collection of Valley mayors and other county leaders approved in 2021.

  • SB 1102, passed in committee Monday, would allow 39% of funds to be spent on transit, a small percentage of which could be used to operate and maintain light rail but not extend it.
  • SB 1246 allocates 26% of funds to public transportation and also forbids light rail expansion.


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