Poll: Readers bemoan failure of Prop 469

Traffic on State Route 347 is one of the primary issues facing Maricopa. State representative Teresa Martinez has been fighting for funding to improve the highway since she entered the legislature last year.

Pinal County residents had a chance to approve funding for the improvement and expansion of roads throughout the county with Proposition 469 in last week’s election.

They chose not to by a slim margin, although Maricopa voted 63% in favor of the half-cent sales tax to improve, among others, State Route 347 from Interstate 10 to the city limits.

In light of that result, we asked, “What are your thoughts about Maricopa’s future after the failure of Prop 469?”

The overwhelming majority of Maricopans find the election results disturbing.

The top poll response was, “Doubly concerned. People might begin to move away and others stop moving here over traffic, population contraction that would set back the coming of retail, restaurants and services even further,” which garnered 42.4% among 387 responses.

Those who responded, “Concerned. Now it’s going to be at least seven years before SR 347 gets widened,” tallied 39.8% of the votes.

And 17.8% chose the response, “Elated. No taxes, no taxes, no taxes. I didn’t vote for it even though it would have cost only 5 cents per $10 spent – plus now I get to keep complaining about the 347 even though I didn’t vote for the tax.”

Prop 469 was a retooled version of Props 416 and 417, the half-cent sales tax for transportation that passed in 2017, only to have the funding mechanism ruled unconstitutional by the Arizona Supreme Court this year after a challenge by the conservative Goldwater Institute from the Valley.

Despite the failure of the measure county-wide, Maricopa voters strongly supported it. The Rancho El Dorado precinct was strongest with 67% in favor. Province was second-highest at 65%. The Senita and Santa Rosa precincts were lowest but still in favor at 58% and 59%, respectively.