Proposed sales tax increase to go before voters in mail-in elect - Tucson News Now

Proposed sales tax increase to go before voters in mail-in election

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

On May 16, voters will decide whether the city of Tucson will increase its sales taxes by 1/2 percent to help pay for roads and public safety.

It's an all mail election and voters have already been returning ballots.

The sales tax is estimated to raise $250 million over five years. It would be split 60-40 between public safety, police and fire, and road maintenance and repair.

The tax has opposition and supporters.

The Pima County Republican Party has come out against it saying there are other ways to pay for them.

While the Tucson Chamber, says better roads and increased public safety, is good for business.

Some less well known experts are split on the sales tax, but universal on the idea of better roads.

On a scale from 1 to 10, with one being best and ten the worst, Brian Doal, a long time cabbie said he would rate the roads "somewhere between seven and eight."

Tucson's road are better than they were a few years ago, but still leave a lot to be desired, especially when driving on Valencia near Kolb.

"It's like driving on a washboard, he said. "I had one passenger, when I drove on the road, said he felt like he was still on the airplane because the turbulence was so bad."

Some drivers said the bad roads led to longer wait times and agreed with a Texas A&M traffic study that showed Tucson is one of the nation's worst cities.

Mobility Scorecard 2015 by Tucson News Now on Scribd

The average Tucsonan spends 47 hours a year stuck in traffic, while Phoenix, which is thought to be much worse, isn't so bad. Its commuters spend 51 hours stuck in traffic.

Tucson's rank is 23rd worst.

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