Arizona Panel backs road tax vote in all counties

With gas tax revenues lagging, state lawmakers are moving to allowing all 15 counties to levy their own sales taxes to fund critical road and transit needs.

SB 1147, approved by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, would specifically allow those counties that already have such a tax to seek voter approval for an extension. That is designed to help not only build or repair existing roads but build out the mass transit system that didn’t get funded when the recession cut into existing tax revenues.

Potentially more significant, it would provide for the first time ever that same option to rural counties, which until now have been totally dependent on the money they get from the state to pave new roads, repair existing ones and, to the extent they want it, some form of mass transit.