Guest Editorial: Vote ‘Yes’ on Question 1

By Mayor Jim Lane, Vice Mayor Guy Philips and Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp
Editorial in Arizona Republic 

Please join us in supporting Question 1 on Scottsdale’s November ballot to keep our fair share of county transportation taxes.

Question 1 approves a small and temporary transportation sales tax increase in Scottsdale. The increase amounts to one-tenth of 1 percent (0.10 percent), or one penny for every $10 purchase, and the increase sunsets in 10 years.

Revenues, which can be used only for transportation-improvement projects, would fund 22 needed street projects throughout the city as part of our transportation Arterial Life Cycle Plan. These revenues (about $70 million) would allow the city to receive an additional $170 million in matching funds from Maricopa County transportation taxes already paid by us.

If the tax proposal does not pass, we will lose $170 million.

None of us has ever been tax-and spend politicians. This is one time when we believe a small tax that will end in 10 years becomes very necessary to build the street infrastructure we need for our future at a small cost to all people who travel our streets.

The entire seven-member City Council supports the ballot question.

Even with the proposed increase, Scottsdale’s sales tax rate would become 1.75 percent and remain the third lowest rate in the Valley.

We believe this is the fairest way for 9 million visitors and tens of thousands of non-resident people working in the city who use our streets each year to help pay for critical street-improvement projects, easing property-tax burdens on Scottsdale homeowners.

The street improvements would reduce traffic congestion, increase street capacity and improve traffic safety throughout Scottsdale. These street and traffic concerns are ones we hear most often from city residents.

Additional information about the ballot question, including a list of the 22 street projects, can be found at City arterial streets to be improved include Frank Lloyd Wright, Raintree Drive, Scottsdale Road, Carefree Highway, Hayden Road, Shea Boulevard and Pima Road in both the northern and southern parts of Scottsdale.

Most of the projects are for intersections, street widening, turn lanes, raised medians, sidewalks, bike lanes and trails.

As members of the Scottsdale City Council, we are united in asking for your “yes” vote for Question 1. Along with the other members of the council, we are joined in support by two local public safety associations, Scottsdale Firefighters and Scottsdale Fraternal Order of Police.

Others supporting Question 1 are the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors, Scottsdale Charros, Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce, HonorHealth and numerous other local businesses.