Mesa Mayor John Giles discusses Proposition 400
Mesa Mayor John Giles discussed proposition 400, the transportation sales tax extension. Mayor Giles had his doubts on whether or not this would happen, but said it is great news for Maricopa County. He joined Arizona Horizon to discuss the matter with host Ted Simons.
These tax dollars are extremely crucial to transportation in Arizona, according to Mayor Giles. Proposition 400 and the investment in transportation infrastructure can be described as the origin for everything good that’s happened economically in Maricopa County for the last few decades, Mayor Giles said.
“This is not just good news for Maricopa County; this is the largest economic development package for the state of Arizona in the history of our state. This is going to attract a lot of good jobs, a lot of big investment, a lot of people to the Valley, and it’s going to free up transportation dollars for the rest of the state,” Mayor Giles said.
The money is allocated in this way:
- Freeways – 41%
- Roads – 23%
- Transit – 37%
- Light rail expansion – 0%
Mayor Giles added there is 3.5% allocated toward light rail maintenance, which was a sticking point with the legislature.
“What this will allow us to do is use federal funds and other funds for extension. Everything that’s in our plan–extension of the light rail, extension of the street car–can still be funded through this plan, but it will be primarily federal and other dollars rather than the Prop 400 sales tax,” Mayor Giles said.
While Giles was once a light rail sceptic, he claimed he has been proven wrong over the years and that it serves as a successful transportation system. It’s also successful in terms of economic redevelopment.
“In the city of Mesa, we’ve seen billions of private investment dollars follow the public investment of light rail,” Mayor Giles said.