City News

Goodyear unveils 2023 legislative priorities

Items include fighting proposed tax cuts, securing transit dollars and retaining control over development process


The city of Goodyear unveiled its legislative priorities in the coming year which have to do with protecting local revenue streams, maintaining control over city planning and guaranteeing its transportation and infrastructure priorities. 

Goodyear’s government relations manager Ginna Carico, discussed the city’s main priorities for the Fifty-Sixth Legislative Session, which convened for the first time Jan. 9, 2023.

She explained at the Monday council meeting that staff carefully monitor the state legislature for bills that may have implications for the city. Carico estimates that an average of 300 such bills come before the legislature each session.

Goodyear anticipates a “fight” over proposed tax plan

Republican Warren Petersen has begun his first term as senate president and has already unveiled a plan to eliminate residential, rental and food taxes — a proposal Goodyear regards as an “overreach.”

Sen. Petersen writes that slashing these taxes would help struggling Arizonans amid the rising cost of living. 

“Government makes plenty of money from the income tax charged to landlords,” Petersen writes in his proposal, asserting that tenants shouldn't have to pay a tax on top. 

He also called for a complete ban on food taxes, a policy some cities have already adopted on their own. 

“Food is not a luxury. It is a necessity,” Petersen writes. “This tax is regressive and hurts the poorest of the poor.”

But the taxes Petersen would like to see eliminated aren’t ones collected by the state, but by city governments. Carico stated that the proposed measures “would have no impact to the state’s coffers, which we do believe to be an overreach that will impact communities across the state.” 

The city has good reasons for wanting to maintain control of those revenue streams. According to Carico, half of the city’s general funds are generated through sales tax revenue — if Petersen’s tax measures are passed, it would have a starting impact of $10.3 million. 

According to Goodyear staff, that revenue loss would negatively impact the quality of city services. 

Carico stated that city leadership intends to work with newly-elected Governor Katie Hobbs to convey the importance of local control. 

Goodyear transit projects in jeopardy after Prop 400 failure

Last July, legislation that would have allowed county voters to extend a transportation sales tax was unexpectedly vetoed by then-Governor Doug Ducey after passing both the state house and senate.   

Had Ducey approved the bill, known as Prop 400, the issue would have gone before the voters in the March 2023 election, and if passed, the measure would have gone into effect in Jan. 2026 replacing the current transit sales tax set to expire at the end of 2025. 

“Unfortunately, this veto will delay existing projects,” that are dependent on Prop 400 funds, Carico said, including plans to complete Loop 303 down to MC 85 and planned construction on the State Route 30 West Valley extension.

Prop 400 had the unanimous support of Maricopa County mayors. 

Ducey cited a lack of transparency as among the reasons for his veto. Voters approved a half-cent sales tax hike in 1985. The tax was renewed again in 2004.

Some projections estimated Prop 400 would have brought in up to $36 billion in revenue for transportation projects between 2025 and 2050. 

The path forward for Prop 400 is unclear. For a measure to appear on the ballot in Maricopa County it must first pass both the state house and senate and get the governor’s stamp of approval. But unfortunately for Goodyear, Carico said that there aren’t currently any Republican legislators willing to introduce the proposal as it was originally written. However, she does anticipate several bills this session that will include certain aspects of the failed Prop 400 proposal. 

If and when funding is secured, the first section of freeway between the Loop 202 and Loop 303 will be among the city’s first projects.

Goodyear and state legislature in power struggle over  affordable housing 

Last February, the state legislature introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at bolstering the state’s availability of affordable housing by allowing laxer building and permitting regulations to take precedence over stricter regulations that may have been imposed by cities.

But Goodyear leadership didn’t take kindly to the notion of the state making city planning decisions previously left up to municipal control. In February 2022, Goodyear's mayor Joe Pizzillo signed on to a letter addressed to legislative leadership attacking the bill as "bad public policy."

Goodyear, alongside eight other Arizona cities, stated that the bill would do little more than cut residents out of the city planning process and give preferential treatment to residential developers without actually increasing the supply of affordable housing. 

Ultimately House Bill 2674 was rejected in its original form, an outcome Goodyear city leaders were apparently “instrumental” in achieving, according to Carico. 

READ: Goodyear leaders shut down state bill relaxing city zoning codes 

The bipartisan bill later morphed into a bipartisan study committee, examining causes and solutions to the state’s growing housing crisis. 

Though the committee doesn’t have the enforcement power of legislation, its housing recommendations have still managed to draw the ire of Goodyear officials. 

“We heard often in this committee…an anti-city narrative,” Carico said, adding that committee members have argued that local government bureaucracies are creating barriers to housing development, a notion city officials have pushed back upon.

“We have communicated to many legislators that this is not the case in Goodyear,” Carico said.

Zoning reform is among the top recommendations to come out of the committee, but what that means “is yet to be seen,” Carico said. 

City officials are apparently in close communication with committee leaders, conveying the importance of local control in city planning.

Madeline Ackley Salazar can be reached at or found on Twitter @Mkayackley.