Governor Doug Ducey and Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita are receiving high praise for their effort to kill HB2685, the 25-year Maricopa County tax increase for transportation, also known as the Prop 400 extension.
Governor Ducey cited several reasons for his rejection of the tax increase including current economic hardship for taxpayers and record high inflation, the lack of transparency in the ballot title and description narrative, as well as the lack of dedicated funds to maintain the county’s freeway network.
Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita was also mentioned in the letter for offering numerous amendments to cure what she and others believe were the bill’s many flaws.
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club praised Ugenti-Rita for her “repeated and tireless objections to the legislation were summarily ignored in the process but heard by the Governor.”
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club criticized HB2685 for being “truly a Build Back Broke transportation policy, prioritizing money for little used transit, siphoning dollars from roads for cities to expand bike lanes and trollies, and neglecting the maintenance for freeways and arterials. This was reflected in the lack of support by a majority of Republicans in both chambers, but especially in the House, with 21 Republicans voting against.”
In March, AZ FREE News reported that Arizona Free Enterprise Club Vice President Aimee Yentes expressed opposition to the bill, noting that 40 percent of the money was allocated for public transit. Yentes explained that the 1985 transportation tax plan was successful because it built freeways, but that over the decades the plan shifted from essential infrastructure like roads and freeways to “transit,” despite a steep, increasing decline in its use. That number sits at half a percent currently.”