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Representative Noel Campbell Introduces Bill for Higher Gasoline Tax

29 January 2019   Matthew Specht

Representative Noel Campbell Introduces Legislation to Pay for the Road Ahead

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Representative Noel Campbell (R-1) introduced HB 2536 last week, which would restore funding for critical statewide transportation needs by ensuring that everyone is paying for the roads they use.

Arizona’s gas tax has remained untouched since 1991. Combined with increased fuel economy and electric vehicles, revenue to repair and build new Arizona freeways has dropped by 70% in the past 28 years. HB 2536 would ensure that everyone pays their fair share of the ongoing maintenance of our transportation system.

“Infrastructure is a critical component for our quality of life, and we must ensure that we are paying for the road ahead. While we are securing our water future, the same must be done for our transportation future. In the past, the 18-cent gas tax was enough to fund our roads when our population was a little more than half our current size, gas was a $1.14 a gallon, and vehicles were only getting 21 miles per gallon,” said Noel Campbell (R-1). “That, combined with the fact that electric vehicles and vehicles with alternative fuel sources are contributing very little for the roads they use, has created an untenable situation. The world has changed, and we are falling behind in our transportation obligations by nearly $1 billion per year. HB 2536 would ensure that everyone pays for the roads they use.” 

HB 2536 would fund critical transportation investments by increasing motor vehicle use fees incrementally over the next several years. The rate per gallon for gasoline and light-truck diesel fuel would increase to 28 cents in 2019, 38 cents in 2020, and 43 cents in 2021. The rate per gallon for heavy-truck diesel fuel would increase to 36 cents in 2019, 46 cents in 2020, and 51 cents in 2021. Electric and hybrid vehicles would be subject to a corresponding road usage fee to account for the wear and tear that they place on our roads.

“According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, we currently have funds to maintain just 47% of our roads in the state. This legislation is part of my ongoing efforts to have an honest dialogue with our taxpayers about our obligations and make sure we are meeting them,”concluded Campbell. “This proposal takes an honest look at our needs and tries to address the problem. With a great influx of population in Arizona and already congested roads and highways, failing to invest in transportation infrastructure reduces our economic competitiveness, poses serious safety risks, and costs us millions in lost time at work and with our families. I introduced HB 2536 to grow Arizona as a competitive economic force that can scale to the rapid population growth.”