The Phoenix light rail system connects workers to their jobs, students to their schools, and families to our communities.
Prop 105 stops all light rail construction and kills light rail plans already approved by voters three times. It permanently prohibits Phoenix from investing in any kind of rail project – including light rail, commuter rail, or other potential train connections. It also sends billions in federal dollars to cities in other states.
Prop 106 is deeply flawed and is designed for one purpose only: to slash essential services that Phoenix families rely on like our libraries, parks, and educational programming.
Prop 106 is dangerous, and would slash access to critical city services like parks, libraries, senior centers, and support for those experiencing homelessness, just as Phoenix emerges from the worst recession in generations. It would also scrap Phoenix’s current pension payment plan, which is why it’s opposed by Phoenix Fire Fighters and community organizations like the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
Of the nearly 50,000 riders each day roughly 30% are headed to school and 30% are headed to work, and that number will only grow when planned expansions are up and running.
This new connectivity is driving our economy, bringing billions of dollars in economic development, tens-of-thousands of jobs, and new opportunities to our city.
In the next few decades, the Phoenix region is expected to grow by 2 million residents. Light rail is a key part of our plan to manage increased traffic that will result from this growth.
The light rail extensions have been planned for over a decade, and were approved by voters in 2000, 2004, and 2015. The public has been heavily engage in this planning effort, with more than 500 public meetings held to gather public input.
Prop 105 would immediately and permanently stop construction of extensions to South Phoenix, Metro Center, and West Phoenix that have already been approved by voters three times.
More than the extensions are at risk. Language was added to Prop 105 to permanently prohibit investment of any city funds into any type of rail project.
If 105 passes, not only will tens of millions of tax dollars already invested in these approved extensions be wasted; but hundreds of billions of dollars in federal investment will skip Phoenix and go to cities in other states.
This proposition has internal contradictions and mistakes, which make it unenforceable. If it passes, it will be a confusing mess held up in courts for years. It will cost the city hundreds of thousands in legal fees, prevent investment in important programs like parks and libraries, and hinder real progress on pension reform.
When the last recession hit, the Phoenix City Council had to make tough decisions to reduce spending and balance the budget. As the economy recovered, they were able to restore services that were cut temporarily. With this poorly-worded law, Phoenix would never be able to reinvest and restore services after an economic downturn. These cuts themselves will hamper our economic development, creating a vicious cycle.
By tying the hands of city leaders, Prop 106 will force significant funding cuts to parks, libraries, serving seniors, and even basic priorities like road repair. It goes too far and puts too much at risk.
Phoenix is on track to pay down all pension debt, responsibly, over the next 25 years. Phoenix is not living beyond its means and has managed to find a balance between providing essential services to city residents and paying down pension debt. Prop 106 is reckless and is the equivalent of demanding a homeowner pay their entire mortgage at once. That’s why public safety professionals and numerous chambers of commerce oppose it.