In a battle of life’s certainties — death and taxes — Maricopa’s main highway may dodge the latter by confronting a looming taxman.
City Manager Rick Horst presented a half-penny sales tax to the city council during Tuesday’s meeting, stating the money would help fund some much-needed road improvements.
The city could generate about $10 million per year through the tax, accumulating to more than $213 million over 20 years, according to Horst.
Over the next decade, the city plans to spend about $622 million on local road improvement projects, including State Route 347.
Last year, Pinal County attempted to implement a half-cent transportation tax through Proposition 469. Although Maricopans supported the tax, county voters shot it down.
“Our citizens voted in favor by a supermajority,” Horst said.
Through that county tax, Maricopa would have received just 6% of the money, or about $40 million. A municipal tax, however, would mean Maricopa keeps all the funds.
“The difference is for the half-cent sales tax to stay in our community with 100% of it going to our projects only,” Horst said during the presentation.
Horst did not say when the issue could enter the ballot.
Councilmembers appeared supportive of the proposition. Councilmember Eric Goettl said the tax could function as “one more tool” in the city’s toolbox for combating issues with SR 347.
“The 347 is a very multifaceted issue to try to solve and I think this is one more tool … to add to our tool chest that will help move us forward,” he said. “None of us love the idea of more taxes but we have to do something to move (SR 347) forward.”