State Capitol News
10:37 pm
Mon August 25, 2008

Road Tax Ballot Initiative Dead

Phoenix, AZ – Two proposed ballot measures--including one which would have raised the state's sales tax to fund new roads and mass transit projects--are officially dead. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains.


The state Supreme Court ruled today that backers of Proposition
203 waited too long to challenge the findings by Secretary of
State Jan Brewer that they didn't submit enough valid signatures.
That leaves intact Brewer's finding that backers came up about
15,000 names short of what they needed to ask voters to hike the
state's sales tax rate to 6.6 percent to finance nearly $43
billion in new road and mass transit projects. David Martin,
chairman of what was dubbed the TIME campaign and head of the
contractors association, said the issue will have to be
resurrected, perhaps for the 2010 ballot.

(We still have a $160 billion transportation revenue shortfall.
That does not go away because TIME goes away. That remains. We'll
continue to get 200,000 people a year into Arizona. That will
remain the same.)

Today's court ruling also kills Proposition 103. That would have
asked voters to put 570,000 acres of state trust lands off limit
to developers. Brewer had concluded that measure also did not
have enough signatures. And based on the high court ruling,
supporters of that measure also waited too long to sue.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.