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  • County Supervisors adopt FY2015 budget

    Jun 18, 2014 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Board of Supervisors Tuesday adopted the FY2015 budget with a 3-2 vote. District 4 Supervisor Ray Carroll and District 1 Supervisor Ally Miller voted no on adoption.

    The total adopted budget is  $93.2 million less than the current year’s budget. It’s a continuation of the county’s responsible budgeting during the years of the Great Recession and its aftermath, which continue to echo in the county. Not only is this budget 7 percent smaller than the current year’s, it also is 20 percent, or $300 million, smaller than the county’s budget seven years ago when the recession hit.

    Because county property taxes are collected based on valuations made more than a year prior, the county’s tax valuations for this budget are roughly 0.5 percent less than the fiscal year’s budgeted valuations. That means less money coming into the county for the new fiscal year over the current fiscal year. 

    Each year over the last four years the board has reduced county taxes. Overall, during the recession, the county reduced property taxes from $418 million in 2010 to $383 million in 2014. During that time, the county reduced general fund spending by 11 percent and reduced county staffing by 1,200 employees.

    But this year, County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry suggested to supervisors that the economy, especially the housing market, had stabilized and improved enough to start setting the stage this fiscal year for restoring some county services in future years. Therefore, this budget seeks to maintain county services at the same level as the expiring fiscal year, but to do that requires augmentation of the county’s budget with a rate increase.

    To avoid further staff reductions and service cuts the supervisors raised the primary property tax rate about 28 cents per $100 of assessed value. Small tax rate increases in the Library District and Flood Control District of 6 and 4 cents, respectively, were nearly offset by a reduction in the county’s debt service rate of about 8 cents per $100 of assessed value. 

    The board, as part of the budget approval, also agreed to small increases in the property tax to fund several supplementary budget requests. Those funds will be placed in a budget stabilization fund and county agencies seeking those funds will have to separately apply to the Board of Supervisors for their distribution.

    The board also approved giving county employees an across-the-board 50-cents-an-hour pay increase so that employees with lower hourly rates get a higher percentage increase than employees with higher salaries.

    The total County combined property tax rate increase for FY 2015 is 63 cents per $100 of net assessed value for a total tax rate of $5.7167. This rate is about 12 percent more than in FY 2013/14. A homeowner of an average primary residence valued at $146,426 will pay $96.01 more in County-specific taxes next fiscal year. The actual amount paid depends on the home’s net assessed value. The amount of the County’s primary property tax levy for FY 2015 will be about $52 million below the maximum allowable by State law.

    The fiscal year begins July 1. 

    For more information about the county budget, go the county’s budget web page.