The State of Arizona has provided Pima County hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain our roads.
HURF funds are gas tax dollars set aside for road repair and maintenance across Arizona. While those funds are shrinking due to better fuel economy in newer vehicles and the rising popularity of electric vehicles, well over $841 million in HURF revenue has been received by Pima County since 1994.
In 1997, Pima County voters approved $350 million in HURF bonds, not knowing this meant no road repairs since the bonds were to be paid back with HURF funds. Those bonds were supposed to be used for new road capacity. What the voters didn’t understand when they voted was they approved using HURF, or road repair monies, to pay bond debt.
As a result, the county roads look bad, but the books look good. The cost for the neglect is experienced on a daily basis by commuters who must absorb the high cost of car repairs.
According to an investigation by Supervisor Ally Miller in 2013, over $167 million of HURF had been diverted from road repair and maintenance to cover bond debt since 2004. This left $641 million available for road repair since 1994. The money didn’t go to roads.
In 2012, then Pima County Supervisor candidate, Mike Hellon, told the public at a candidate forum that Chuck Huckelberry has piles of money that he “stashes” throughout his 20 different departments. Hellon claimed that Huckleberry can find money when he needs to.
Nothing has changed.