Voters in Bullhead City, Ariz. failed to approve a one percent increase in the city’s sales tax in order to perform street repairs and maintenance.
Proposition 2014-1 was defeated August 26 with 60.3 percent of voters against the proposal and 39.7 percent in favor. This is the second time in 18 months that voters have defeated a city sales tax to improve local roads.
Opponents of the measure argued a transportation sales tax increase was unnecessary, estimates for street repairs were inflated, and the ballot language did not guarantee the tax increase would expire after seven years. Larry Adams, Mohave Valley Contractors Association Political Action Committee chairman, stated in an August 21 interview with the Mohave Daily News that Bullhead City would have been the only city in Arizona with a sales tax for road projects if voters had approved the measure. Additionally, Adams argued that roads in the municipality are in good shape, and that the existing sales tax generates adequate revenue for the city.
The ballot measure had support from Mayor Jack Hakim and the Save Our Streets committee. Mayor Hakim stated, “That was a huge disappointment to me but the people have spoken. The future council will just have to figure out some way on how to get those roads repaired.”[i]
If it had been approved by voters, Proposition 2014-1 was anticipated to generate $35 million over the seven years it would have been in effect.
[i] “Voters Reject Sales Tax” by Neil Young, Mohave Daily News. August 27, 2014. http://www.mohavedailynews.com/news/voters-reject-sales-tax/article_c83f073a-2dd0-11e4-88ca-001a4bcf887a.html