PHOENIX — A bill in the Arizona House would establish new vehicle registration fees that would fund road repairs across the state.
Arizona Rep. Noel Campbell (R-Prescott), told the Arizona Daily Star that the bill would tack on $17 to $19 annual vehicle registration fees. This would result in at least $114 million in additional funding for the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
“Nobody enjoys raising taxes, of course not,” Campbell told the Daily Star. “But you know the condition of the roads and bridges and infrastructure in this state.”
Arizona roads have been in need of repair. But there has not been enough money to both fund the road repairs and keep the highway patrol operating. This bill would change that.
“We need to raise revenues for road maintenance,” Energy Analyst Robert Bulechek told lawmakers. “The deferred maintenance alone in Pima County runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
However, Bulechek supported higher gasoline taxes rather than new vehicle registration fees. Higher taxes at the pump, he argued, would increase revenues based on use of roads and pollution rather than a flat rate across the state.
But the gasoline tax has remained the same since 1991 and Gov. Doug Ducey has long been opposed to increasing it.
This week, the Republican-backed bill passed the House Transportation and Infrastructure committee with a 7-1 vote.