The Arizona Supreme Court ruled against backers of the T.I.M.E. initiative that would have raised the sales tax by a penny per dollar to fund highway improvements, build commuter rail between Tucson and Phoenix, and local road and mass transit projects.
That might be a victory for backers of the plan as well as critics. Given the economy, we had a hard time believing that a majority of voters would have supported it in November. It’s a big tax increase at a bad time.
Here’s the underlying problem that remains unresolved: Gas tax revenues just can’t keep up with the need for infrastructure in the state. So now the problem of funding transportation will go back to the Arizona Legislature, which has shown little appetite for tackling the challenge.