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  • Supervisors to vote on road repair plan ordinance May 15

    May 02, 2018 | Read More News
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    pavement prezThe Board of Supervisors May 1 gave county staff the go-ahead to finalize a Sales Tax Implementation Plan Ordinance and a half-cent sales tax Resolution. The ordinance would set the legal parameters for funding a road repair plan that would fix all of the unincorporated county paved roads within 10 years and provide over $550 million to the county’s cities and towns for their transportation infrastructure maintenance and repair needs over the same period. The resolution would enact the half-cent sales tax needed to fund the road repair plan. 

    State transparency and public notification laws dictate the earliest dates for when the board can vote on the ordinance and the resolution. The ordinance is scheduled for the May 15 board meeting and the resolution is scheduled for a vote June 19, the same day as final budget adoption. 

    If adopted by the board, the sales tax ordinance would do the following:
    • Govern the implementation of a half-cent, countywide sales tax allocated over 10 years for the purposes of repairing and preserving paved roads throughout the county
    • Allocate 100 percent of sales tax revenues for maintenance, repair, and rebuilding of roads
    • Distribute proportional revenues from the sales tax to the municipalities based on a formula that considers population and Taxable Net Assessed Valuation
    • Create a 10-year road repair plan for unincorporated Pima County with a list of each road segment by treatment type and schedule of when it will be improved to at least a fair condition
    • Require an intergovernmental agreement with the Regional Transportation Authority to provide review and support of the sales tax implementation for Pima County and overview of the municipalities’ 10-year road repair plans
    • Create a Commission for Economic Diversity and Prosperity to provide guidance on distribution of funding for low-income assistance to mitigate disproportionate effects the sales tax may have on low-income households
    • Allocate an additional $3 million minimum annually for programs and services designed to assist low-income households, and to increase funding for this purpose by an additional $500,000 (or as recommended by the Commission established by the ordinance) each year the sales tax is in effect. Funding will not come from the sales tax
    • Eliminates the 25-cent Road Repair Property Tax enacted by the board last year

    The resolution, if passed by the board June 19, would enact the sales tax. It wouldn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2019, to give businesses time to prepare to collect the tax. The proposed sales tax resolution would include the following: 
    • Be temporary, ending 10 years after its effective date
    • Places all of the sales tax revenue into a special Road Repair Fund
    • Restricts use of the Road Repair Fund to the maintenance, repair and rebuilding of roads, and to repay debt obligations associated with same
    • Requires proportional amounts of the Road Repair Fund be distributed to the county’s cities and towns based on the formula set by the Sales Tax Ordinance (see above)
    • Requires the county to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the Regional Transportation Authority or the Pima Association of Governments, if the RTA is not reauthorized by voters, to provide oversight of the county’s and municipalities’ road repair and maintenance programs and to annually audit the use of the Road Repair Fund by those jurisdictions
    • Requires the County to have the state Auditor General annually audit the Road Repair Fund
    • Requires automatic repeal of the sales tax if either the RTA or Auditor General audits find unauthorized use of the Road Repair Fund that hasn’t been immediately cured by the County

    The sales tax is estimated to collect more than $910 million over the 10 years. Of that, the county would receive about $353 million for road repairs, providing the majority of the funding needed for the county’s $600 million 10-year road repair plan. 

    Under the proposed distribution formula in the ordinance, municipalities over 10 years would receive:
    • Marana - $54.7 million
    • Oro Valley - $48.8 million 
    • Sahuarita - $25.6 million 
    • South Tucson - $3.8 million 
    • Tucson - $424.2 million 

    For the unincorporated county, the 10-year plan includes an additional $270 million from state shared transportation dollars (HURF and transportation VLT) for the unincorporated county roads. These funds are necessary to ensure all county paved roads are repaired, but also that the repaired roads continue to be maintained and don’t fall into disrepair again. 

    Under this plan, the worst roads will be fixed first, while also preserving the good roads. The board directed county staff to notify the public of the intent to fix all of the county’s unincorporated paved roads within 10 years contingent upon the adoption of a sales tax and how they can look up their road and learn when it would be fixed. 

    The proposed 10-year plan and the proposed ordinance and resolution can be found at the 10-year Road Repair Plan webpage. The site also includes a map where county residents can look up their address and see when their road will be fixed within the 10 years if the sales tax is approved.