By Bill Haynes
The people of Phoenix should vote “No” on Proposition 104 for many reasons. Consider these four.
First, the price tag is beyond huge, imposing a $31 billion tax burden on Phoenicians. Such a tax burden could be a direct assault on property values as future city councils seek funds to pay debt by considering property taxes.
Definitely, Proposition 104 is an assault on the paychecks as it calls for still another increase in the city’s sales tax, which would put it near the highest rate in the US for major cities.
Second, while proponents of light rail gleefully point to business development after construction is completed, they never discuss the number of businesses that were destroyed during construction and the businesses that suffer reduced traffic because of now being less accessible.
Third, light rail proponents like to say that is reduces air pollution by taking autos off the streets. Fact is, less than one in a thousand (0.1%) is the auto reduction because of light rail in Phoenix. Further, advocates ignore that because of light rail it sometimes takes 3-1/2 minutes to make a left turn on Central Avenue, a development that adds to air pollution.
Finally, Prop 104, regardless of what proponents say, is not about “expanded transportation options for the people of Phoenix,” but is about massive contracts for companies in the light rail construction industry, which are the primary funders of the Pro-104 movement.
Phoenicians need to recognize that they are being taken for a ride with Prop 104. By voting it down, they will safeguard their pocketbooks and their property values.