Gas tax: The right way to pay for fixing roads? - Tucson News Now

Gas tax: The right way to pay for fixing roads?

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Pima County and Tucson have been taken off a list which three years ago said the area had the fifth worst roads in the nation for communities with more than 500,000 residents.

The report was prepared by TRIP, a national research group that rates roadways in urban areas.

The area was dropped off the list because of an aggressive pavement preservation plan which used millions of dollars in taxpayer money to repave priority roads.

The major arterials have been redone, but the neighborhood streets remain in utter disrepair.

The Pima County Administrator, Chuck Huckelberry, said “if they were included, it is likely we would once again be listed.”

The county has supported a ten cent increase in the state’s gas tax to pay for road repairs and maintenance.

A bill has been introduced at the Arizona state legislature, but faces a rocky road.

As an alternative, SB 1147, would allow each county to ask voters whether to increase their local gas taxes by ten cents which would be dedicated to roads.

The tax could last no longer than 20 years.

Under the proposal, the county would also be required to establish a Regional Transportation Authority to handle the tax dollars collected. They would not be spent by the county itself.

Huckelberry said “We should continue to explore all of these options” but has not weighed in on SB 1147 yet.

Residents of the Orangewood neighborhood, which recently petitioned the county to fix their roads but were denied, are still unsure whether they would support the tax despite the poor condition of their roads.

“I pay a lot for gas now,” said Colten Justice. “So probably not, probably not.”

“Unless there is some curtailment of where the politicians are held accountable,” said Ed Slechta, a retired DPS officer. “They’ve got to be held accountable.”

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

MOBILE USERS: Download our app, the most-used news app in southern Arizona, to get breaking news alerts, weather forecasts and exclusive content on your Apple and Android devices.

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Rio Rico bear may have to be put down

    Rio Rico bear may have to be put down

    Thursday, November 23 2017 1:56 PM EST2017-11-23 18:56:37 GMT
    Nuisance bear in Rio Rico (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department/YouTube)Nuisance bear in Rio Rico (Source: Arizona Game and Fish Department/YouTube)

    It may be bad news for a bear spotted several times in an area in Rio Rico the last few weeks, state wildlife workers may have to put it down.  However, they may not have to kill it, IF neighbors change their ways. 

    It may be bad news for a bear spotted several times in an area in Rio Rico the last few weeks, state wildlife workers may have to put it down.  However, they may not have to kill it, IF neighbors change their ways. 

  • breaking

    Tucson police investigate midtown homicide

    Tucson police investigate midtown homicide

    Thursday, November 23 2017 12:33 PM EST2017-11-23 17:33:07 GMT
    (Source: Google Maps)(Source: Google Maps)

    According to police the incident happened in the 800 block of North Alvernon Way, near East Third Street.

    According to police the incident happened in the 800 block of North Alvernon Way, near East Third Street.

  • Salvation Army volunteers hope to serve meal to thousands of Tucsonans

    Salvation Army volunteers hope to serve meal to thousands of Tucsonans

    Thursday, November 23 2017 10:01 AM EST2017-11-23 15:01:10 GMT
    Salvation Army volunteer Michael Miller says it's great being a part of a Tucson tradition for the past eight years. (Source: KOLD News 13)Salvation Army volunteer Michael Miller says it's great being a part of a Tucson tradition for the past eight years. (Source: KOLD News 13)

    Preparations are underway at the Salvation Army Hospitality House as the organization prepares to serve thousands of people for its annual Thanksgiving meal.

    Preparations are underway at the Salvation Army Hospitality House as the organization prepares to serve thousands of people for its annual Thanksgiving meal.

Powered by Frankly