Mesa Mayor John Giles discusses Prop 400
Prop 400, which would extend the half-cent sales tax for transportation in Arizona, is set to expire at the end of 2025. Lawmakers are stalled at putting together an extension to send to the voters for approval. Mesa Mayor John Giles is a proponent of sending it back to the voters. During the last few decades, money from Prop 400 has paid for the Loop 101 and light rail among other transportation projects.
“This sunsets in 2025, so this half-cent sales tax that is really the explanation for all the growth that we’ve seen in the Valley will go away. Now unfortunately, the growth in Maricopa County is not going away so that puts us in a very precarious situation where we won’t be able to continue with a lot of the transportation plans that we’ve made,” said Mayor Giles.
Mayor Giles points to several transportation projects that could be affected, including work on state routes 30 and 24 as well as the widening and improving upon the different freeways in the Phoenix area.
“All of that is dead in the water with no source of funding beginning in 2026,” said Mayor Giles. Republican lawmakers brought forth a bill that was quickly vetoed by Governor Katie Hobbs. One major debate focuses on the expansion of the public light rail transportation, with many Republican lawmakers opposed to it.
“This is what happens when you have a group of legislators from throughout the state but mainly from non-urban areas writing the transportation plan for Maricopa County,” said Mayor Giles. Both sides are working to bring new legislation citizens can vote on. Maricopa County is the only county in the state that requires legislative approval of a regional transportation plan before going to voters.