Pinal RTA map

CASA GRANDE — One of the lawsuits trying to stop the collection of a new tax to fund major transportation projects in Pinal County has been dismissed.

Judge Christopher Whitten of the Arizona Tax Court dismissed without prejudice a lawsuit filed by the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona against the Arizona Department of Revenue and Pinal County.

The tax, under Proposition 417, was approved by county voters in November to fund the Regional Transportation Authority.

The lawsuit alleged that while the election pamphlet stated that the tax will be applied to a wide range of business classifications, the actual proposition levies a tax of only one-half percent on the gross income from selling tangible personal property, applying only to the first $10,000.

Those classifications include transportation, utilities, telecommunications, pipeline, private car line, publication, commercial printing, prime contracting, amusement, restaurant, personal property rental, retail, transient lodging, online lodging marketplace and mining.

The plaintiffs also alleged that the revenue forecast provided in the pamphlet ($640 million total revenue and $17,105,074 in 2018) was inaccurate, since it was calculated presuming that the tax would be levied on all classifications listed in the pamphlet and not just on the sale of tangible personal property, as is stated in the actual proposition.

“This lawsuit is nothing more than a post-election attack by those who failed to convince voters to oppose the transportation tax at the election,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Todd House following the dismissal.

“The voters spoke clearly about the need for improved transportation infrastructure in the Pinal region last November while also expressing their willingness to pay an additional sales tax that amounts to about $7.33 per month per household.”

The Goldwater Institute also filed a lawsuit against the RTA that questions the legality of the tax. That case is ongoing.

“We are hopeful that the Goldwater Institute will soon follow the lead of the Home Builders and abandon their effort to undermine the Pinal County voters in a Maricopa County courtroom,” House said.

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