Proposition 411

UPDATE, MAY 17, 2022: City of Tucson voters approved Proposition 411. 


Proposition 411: Half-Cent Sales Extension for Streets

(Read Ordinance 11904 calling for the election)
 

Summary:

 

The City of Tucson asked voters to extend the existing temporary half-cent sales tax for an additional 10 years. This extension will not increase the City’s current sales tax rate of 2.6%. The funds collected through the half-cent sales tax over the 10-year period will be used solely for neighborhood street improvements and systemwide street safety projects.

The estimated sales tax revenue over this 10-year period is projected to be $740 million to be used solely for improvements to neighborhood street conditions and systemwide street safety.

Of that estimated funding, 80%, or $590 million, will be dedicated to improving the condition of every City neighborhood street; and 20%, or $150 million, will be dedicated to safe street improvements that benefit all users and modes. Safety improvements can include projects such as street lighting, sidewalks, bicycle network enhancements, traffic signal technology upgrades, and traffic-calming features.

Accountability and Oversight:

  • Accountability and oversight commissions ensure that the funds collected from the temporary half-cent sales tax are only spent for the purposes approved by voters.
  • Over the last decade, citizens’ accountability and oversight commissions have served taxpayers by overseeing and monitoring projects and expenditures for the voter-approved 2017 half-cent sales tax and both the Proposition 409 and 407 bond packages.
  • The Independent Oversight and Accountability Commission will select and prioritize Proposition 411 neighborhood street improvement projects.
  • The City’s Complete Streets Coordinating Council, a group of citizens appointed by the Mayor and Council, in addition to technical experts, will oversee the selection of Proposition 411 safe street projects.

Neighborhood Street Improvement Plan:

  • Over the course of the 10-year plan, 80% of the sales tax generated, an estimated $590 million, will be dedicated to neighborhood road improvements.
  • All neighborhood streets will undergo an engineering analysis to determine a plan for road improvement. The neighborhood street improvement plan will include a variety of roadway treatments.
  • The City expects that every neighborhood street owned and maintained by the City of Tucson will be improved over the course of the 10-year program.

Safe Street Projects:

 

All safe street projects will be overseen by the City’s Complete Streets Coordinating Council, an independent commission that represents a variety of transportation modes.

If approved by voters, Proposition 411 will dedicate 20% of funding, an estimated $150 million over 10 years, for street safety improvements that benefit all users and modes. Safe street projects fall into four major categories and reflect the community priorities documented in Move Tucson, the City’s transportation master plan.

The four major safe street project categories and corresponding funding allocations include:

Category Funding Percentage Estimated Total Funding*
Sidewalk and Pedestrian Accessibility Improvements 30% $45M
Bicycle Network Enhancements 20% $30M
Systemwide Safety Improvements 30% $45M
Traffic Signal Technology Upgrades 20% $30M
Total 100% $150M

*Funding totals are based on projected tax sales tax revenues.

Sidewalk and Pedestrian Accessibility Improvements ($45 million) – Sidewalks and other pedestrian-accessibility improvements to create safer and more comfortable routes for walking, biking, and rolling.

Bicycle Network Enhancements ($30 million) – Bicycle safety improvements that retrofit existing streets to add buffered or protected bicycle lanes, upgrade local streets to bicycle boulevards, and make other improvements to Tucson’s bicycle network.

Systemwide Safety Improvements ($45 million) – Projects to improve systemwide safety for various modes of travel, including crossing improvements, such as High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk (HAWK) signals, street lighting, and neighborhood safety improvements. Neighborhood safety
improvements will equal approximately 10% of this funding category and will include traffic circles, chicanes, speed bumps, and other traffic calming features.

Traffic Signal Technology Upgrades ($30 million) – Upgrade Tucson’s traffic signal technology along major roadways to support safe, efficient travel across the City. Priority corridors will be identified based on engineering analyses and traffic safety data. 

Examples:

Proposition 411 extends the City of Tucson’s existing temporary half-cent sales tax for an additional 10 years. The estimated sales tax revenue over this 10-year period is projected to be $740 million with:

  • Approximately 80%, or $590 million, is dedicated to the Neighborhood Street Improvement Plan. This plan will include roadway treatment types such as fog seal, mill and overlay, and reconstruction.
  • Approximately 20%, or $150 million, is dedicated to Safe Street Projects. There are four major project categories: sidewalk and pedestrian accessibility improvements, bicycle network enhancements, systemwide safety improvements, and traffic signal technology upgrades.

Citizens’ accountability and oversight groups will monitor projects and expenditures to ensure funds are spent as directed by voters.

Proposition 411: Neighborhood Street Improvement Plan:

Proposition 411: Safe Street Projects:

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Why can’t the City use existing funds to improve neighborhood streets? The City estimates that 85% of neighborhood streets are in poor, very poor, or failed condition. While the City has increased its investment in neighborhood road improvements, the need for repair is outpacing the level of funding
from both of the City’s traditional revenue streams: Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF), generated from the state surcharge on fuel, and the City’s General Fund, which supports core government functions, including public safety and parks.

Didn’t voters recently approve a sales tax for road improvements? Yes, in 2017 voters approved Proposition 101, a temporary half-cent sales tax, for five years. This program, now known as Tucson Delivers (tucsondelivers.tucsonaz.gov), will generate more than $250 million, with $150 million
allocated for public safety needs and $100 million allocated for road repairs. Of that $100 million, $60 million was approved for major roadway improvements and $40 million was allocated for neighborhood street improvements. While successful, this program did not provide enough funding
to improve all City neighborhood streets and program revenues will stop when it sunsets on June 30, 2022. This proposed extension of the half-cent sales tax will allocate all revenues generated from the sales tax extension to City of Tucson street improvement needs, with 80% of the revenues dedicated to
neighborhood street improvements and 20% dedicated to street safety improvements.

Will the City of Tucson tax rate increase with Proposition 411? No, the City’s current sales tax rate will remain the same.

How is this plan to repair roads different than the Regional Transportation Authority’s (RTA)
program?
  The Proposition 411 plan includes dollars dedicated to improving all City neighborhood streets, while the RTA plan, approved by voters in 2006, is a regional plan encompassing all Pima County jurisdictions. The RTA Plan focuses on the goals of reducing growing congestion on major roadways, improving safety and regional mobility, and expanding transportation-transit mode choices (rtamobility.com). The proposed Proposition 411 plan will focus on neighborhood street improvements and will complement the existing and potential future work of the RTA.

Can the money from Proposition 411 be used for items not described in the ballot language? No. The money generated from Proposition 411 can only be used for neighborhood road improvements and safe street projects.

How will the City ensure that funds from Propositions 101 and 411 be used as approved by
voters and not commingled?
The City’s Truth in Taxation policy has specific language determining the usage of funds for each proposition and ensures that funding for each proposition is separately tracked and accounted for.

For more information, call (520) 791-4204 or email Comments@tucsonaz.gov.

You can also learn about the successful implementation of the first part of Tucson Delivers projects.