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  • Board Approves Final 2013-2014 County Budget

    Jun 27, 2013 | Read More News
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    The Board of Supervisors approved a final 2013-2014 budget on June 18 of $1.27 billion, up 2.96 percent from this year. It includes the first raises for county employees in six years and a $5 million boost to road-repairs funding.

    A Maintenance Budget

    This budget does not increase property taxes, and all the county rates combined – the primary tax for the General Fund and the secondary taxes for the Free Library District, the Regional Flood Control District and the Debt Service Levy – will bring in about 1 percent less overall than this year.

    Two of the county’s property-tax rates will go up – the primary rate for the General Fund went up 24.87 cents to $3.6665 per $100 of assessed value and the secondary rate for the Free Library District went up 2.93 cents to $0.3753. Despite higher rates for those two categories – the Flood Control and Debt Service rates are unchanged – the new levy will yield less money from most property owners because property values dropped by an average of 6.38 percent from the values used for this year.

    Of benefit to the new budget is an $18.5 million one-time infusion as a result of the county’s closure of its Pima Health System. That much is left in the Pima Health System account after all its final financial obligations were met. The budget also benefits from an improved Arizona economy as revenue from the county’s share of the state sales tax, the state vehicle license tax and the county’s license and permit fees are expected to go up 6.7 percent.

    Road Repairs 

    The county-employee raises add about $11.9 million to the overall county budget; $8 million to the General-Fund payout. There is money for road repairs in the county’s share of the Highway User Revenue Fund, derived mainly from gasoline taxes, but the budget adds $5 million from the General Fund to speed up the work. This still would fall far short of the identified road repairs needed, so the Board passed a resolution asking the Arizona Legislature to restore $39 million in Highway User Revenue Fund money it diverted elsewhere over the last few years, to redirect a 1-cent gasoline tax for leaking underground storage tanks to road repairs, and to add 10 cents to the 19-cent gasoline tax to increase roads funding to the rough equivalent of surrounding states.

    The budget continues General Fund support for the county’s University of Arizona Medical Center South Campus, at the same $15 million level of this year. It also directs $2.5 million to the Sheriff’s Department and $1.5 million to the County Attorney’s Office to offset their recent losses in state and federal funding.

    A proposed bump-up in the Free Library District’s 2013-1014 property tax rate and budget would go mostly to bring the formerly semi-independent Oro Valley Library fully into the system, and to increase book-purchase spending by $1.5 million.