Tucson to rely on voters, federal grants uncertain in new roadwork funding plan | Government and politics

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“We know what we want, we know what we need, now we have to start discussing how to fund this,” Mayor Regina Romero said. “We need to prepare because once we have a plan in hand, a vision in hand, we need to start working steadily to fund that vision.”

Funding sources

Among the most reliable sources of funding in Ortega’s strategy is the Highway User Revenue Fund. The program uses money collected by the state, such as vehicle registration fees or registration taxes, to pay for roadwork in Arizona cities and towns.

Tucson has already received about $6 million in HURF funds in each of the past two years. This amount is expected to climb to $11 million per year after 2023, creating additional money for Move Tucson.

The city council also recently withdrew $14 million from Tucson’s general fund for road repairs, which has not been done historically because money for road works comes primarily from sales tax revenue or grants.

Ortega expects the city to continue spending money from the general fund on roadwork for at least the next five years, though it could stretch beyond that if it remains an affordable option.

The two new funding sources will only create a combined $19 million in additional funds each year — just a drop, however, of the $128 million bucket that needs to be filled if the city hopes to meet its Move Tucson goal.

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