At one point, I was approached to review their flyer of facts and figures along with some of their concerns. AAHC felt that the state of Arizona had been taking monies from the Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF), gas tax monies in particular, and putting them in the General Fund to help balance their budget. As these monies are to be used to build and reconstruct roads, they felt that this in turn would then require State Legislators to make any new proposed Interstates into Toll Roads to pay for them. Following are some of the facts I found:
The State Constitution: Article 9, Section 14 of the State Constitution states that NO Monies Derived From fees, excises, or license taxes relating to registration, operation, or use of vehicles on public highways or streets or to fuels or any other energy source used for the propulsion of vehicles on public highways or streets, Shall Be Expended for other than highway and street purposes. The last paragraph in that Article says, that this Section 14 shall NOT apply to moneys derived from the Automobile (Vehicle) License Tax (VLT).
For Fiscal Year 2012, HURF Collected: Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax (18c we pay at pump) $454,769,000- Use Fuel Tax (Diesel etc) $180,242,000- Vehicle License Tax (Equals Y:. of Total collected) $320,979,000, plus 3 other fees, for a TOTAL of $1,210,586,000. Out of the $716,086,941 collected for Vehicle License Tax alone, only $109 million went into the General Fund. This is in accordance with what is allowed by the State Constitution. The AAHC will be revising their flyers accordingly.
In addition, I was informed that the DPS has been spending more than usual, but that the dollar amount from the General Fund to DPS has gone down over the last few years. This is in turn affecting the HURF, as it has to make up the difference.
Thanks to the Transportation Analyst of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC), for all his help on these figures and tables involved. There is some GOOD news as well. We reviewed a table today Projecting that for Fiscal year 2013, the Vehicle License Tax transfer to the General Fund is a BIG FAT ‘0’!
Written by Bobbi Hartmann