On May 16, 2006, voters in Pima County approved a $2.1 billion regional transportation plan to be funded by a 1/2 percent sales tax and to be executed over 20 years expiring on June 30, 2026. The $2.1 billion revenue forecast was produced by the Economic and Business Research Center at the Eller College of Management, University of Arizona. In total, 51 transportation related projects in four elements (roadway, safety, transit, environment and economic vitality) were identified in the regional transportation plan consuming $1.998 billion of the forecasted revenues. The additional monies in the referendum were to cover financing.
The severe economic downturn beginning in late 2007has resulted in $98.3 million less revenue than forecasted through fiscal year 2013. Expenses have also lagged partly because of slower than anticipated projected delivery and partly because of a favorable construction cost environment. The favorable cost environment has yielded a savings of approximately 18 percent and, in aggregate, total program expenses are $221.7 million below plan through June 30, 2013.
The revised forecast included therein predicts a 17 percent decline in total revenues from $2.1 billion to $1.736 billion. This is roughly consistent with the 17 percent revenue decline the RTA has already experienced from actual sales tax receipts. The Economic and Business Research Center's revised forecast is based on IHS Global insight's national model, using baseline assumptions that are assigned a 65 percent probability, but makes no assumptions about changes in Arizona state and local tax law. Nor does this economic forecast address the construction cost trends relative to the delivery of the regional transportation plan.
Click HERE to read the forecasting model.