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Election 2013: Transportation questions before Arizona voters in Maricopa County
By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor

Three Maricopa County, Ariz., communities will include transportation questions totaling nearly $190 million on fall election ballots.

Voters in the city of Mesa will decide whether to authorize the city to increase its debt by $79 million through general obligation bonds. Question 2 on the Nov. 5 ballot would apply the money raised through an increase in property tax for transportation improvements.

Specifically, the funds would be use to build, repair and improve the city’s streets, highways, bridges and street lights. New bike and walking paths would also get a portion of the money.

In neighboring Scottsdale, ballots will include four questions asking voters to increase the debt for city services in four areas.

Question 4 on the local ballot covers $99 million in transportation improvements throughout the city. Projects that would benefit include improving access to state Route 101, upgrading traffic signals for the north-south freeway and bridge upgrades

Advocates say the city is running out of money from the last bond issuance approved in 2000.

Voters in the town of Fountain Hills will also decide on road bonds. Question 1 on the ballot would authorize the town to increase its debt by $8.2 million through general obligation bonds.

The community located northeast of Scottsdale would use the money to pay for transportation and street upgrades. Specifically, the funds would be used to rebuild Saguaro Boulevard.

If approved, homeowners would pay about $130 more each year in taxes on a $250,000 house.

Supporters say the funds are needed because the roadway has fallen into serious disrepair. Once fixes are made, they say the town’s new street maintenance program would cover future repairs.

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