By: San Tan Times

vote yes prop 416-417

The importance of the Prop 416/417 unfortunately became a spotlight Wednesday morning. With two accidents taking place in a very short amount of time, Ironwood Road was forced to shut down during the morning drive time traffic.

This resulted in thousands of residents forced to be stuck in thick traffic due to limited exit points in San Tan Valley.

The proposed North/South Corridor included in Prop 416/417 would have provided a fast, efficient, alternative route for many of the residents.

Two primary questions that have been asked regarding Prop 416/417; Does San Tan Valley get enough out of it to justify the tax and haven’t proposed tax increases been miss-appropriated in the past? Let’s tackle those questions.

Does San Tan Valley get enough out of it to justify the tax?

San Tan Valley is growing fast. We are well over 100,000 people and our infrastructure can barely handle it now and the future growth in this area is coming at a rapid rate.

Due to a lack of city planning our road system is drastically in need of an upgrade. The North/South Corridor of Prop 416/417 will alleviate a lot burden on our current road systems.

We can’t continue to allow our area to be left as it is. The recent shutdown of Ironwood Road highlights the massive problem our area has. This isn’t just about the inconvenience of the occasional accident, but it highlights a much larger problem; our system is fragile. That fragility will cause larger and far more serious problems at some point and it is only a matter of time before the costs become tragic.

At some point a road closure will cause a loss of life due to the inability for emergency crews to reach a local resident or for a resident to be able to reach medical facilities in time.

Additionally, with a system so fragile and incapable of handling a large population, industry and commercial development will shy away from our area. With thousands of kids in San Tan Valley school systems, the poor infrastructure will cost our future the ability to have good local jobs.

Additionally, without more industry and commercial development, the future tax burden to maintain our system will fall upon the tax payers.

Supervisor Mike Goodman spoke to us recently about Prop 416/417. “As we have seen time and time again, our road infrastructure does not meet San Tan Valley’s current needs. For the safety of our citizens, and to create jobs and promote economic growth, we need to act now.” Goodman went on to say, “As a resident I am concerned about our ability to reach medical facilities in a timely manner. The County has an oversight plan in place to ensure these funds are designated and spent appropriately. Tax increases are always a touchy subject, but our growing community needs the additional roadway support.” Those words are hard to argue with and truly highlight the problem that exists in San Tan Valley.

Prop 416/417 gives San Tan Valley the infrastructure it needs to alleviate current problems while also providing our area with a future that is capable of handling our growth and commercial development needs. The proposed tax gives us the ability to pay a little today to prevent us from paying a lot more in the future.

Haven’t proposed tax increases been miss-appropriated in the past?

The short answer is yes. As we all know, Pinal County’s history is a bit dodgy to say the least. Which is unfortunate as the past has hampered our present and it could affect our future.

The towns of Kearny and Superior have misused tax funds previously. The positive that came out of it is that they were caught and they were held accountable. They were forced to pay back the funds that were misused.

When it comes to taxes and large government programs tracking and proper usage of fund is always a risk. No one, including us at San Tan Times, enjoys taxes and time and again we are disappointed and angry when we here of another government entity that was caught taking our hard earn money and misusing it.

That being said, we can’t let our hatred of taxes and our lack of trust in government entities prevent us from providing ourselves with a better future.

Is prop 416/417 a risk to being misused? Absolutely. But that risk is no different than any other proposed government program that is using tax dollars.

Is 416/417 worth the risk? We think it is. We see the current problems we have before us and we see the very large problems heading our way in the future when it comes to the massive increases in population that this area is expecting. If we don’t plan for this now, our future will be a mess that could cost lives and a lot of tax payer money.