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  • Supervisors adopt FY2021 budget; includes $55M for road repair

    Jun 23, 2020 | Read More News
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    IRoad reapairn a series of votes June 23, the Pima County Board of Supervisors adopted the combined fiscal year 2021 budget that includes more than $55 million for road repair and cuts the overall county property tax rate by 4.5 percent.

    The $1.42 billion budget is higher than the current $1.31 billion budget, but the proposed budget includes more than $65 million in federal CARES Act stimulus funds to help the county pay for the costs of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The CARES grant can only be used for unbudgeted costs related to the pandemic and cannot be used to backfill the revenue hole in the County budget caused by the COVID-19 economic disruption.

    The new fiscal year begins July 1.

    For a median assessed value home of $154,000, if there were no increase in the home’s assessed value, the combined county tax rates as proposed would result in about a $38 decrease in the tax bill. That amount would change depending on the new assessed value of the home for the FY21 budget year.

    The pandemic’s effect on the economy disrupted the County budget, reducing expected revenue by roughly $60 million, a budget hit that was compounded by an increase in state-imposed budget transfers of about $8.5 million. County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry accounted for the nearly $70 million budget shortfall by suspending $15 million in intended facilities maintenance, cutting personnel expenses by 3 percent, slashing travel and training spending, reducing overtime and cutting department expenses countywide by 5 percent.

    As part of the budget adoption process, the board voted on several separate property tax levies and budgets that comprise the total county tax levy, tax rates and budget. The board also approved the budget for the Stadium District (Kino Sports and Entertainment Complex). The following are details of each funding segment of the budget:

    Primary Property Tax

    Board vote: 3-2 
    Rate: $3.9220 (a reduction of 7 cents from current rate)
    Budgeted Expenditure: $617 million
    Details: The primary property tax is the main source of funding for the county General Fund, which is unrestricted and funds the majority of county operations.

    Public Library District Tax

    Board vote: 3-2
    Rate: $0.5353 (no change)
    Budgeted Expenditure: $43 million
    Details: The Library District tax is a restricted fund and revenue raised from this secondary property tax can only be used to the benefit of the county library system.

    Flood Control District Tax
    Board vote: 3-2
    Rate: $0.3335 (no change)
    Budgeted expenditure: $17 million
    Details: The Flood Control District is a restricted fund and the revenue from this secondary tax can be only used to pay for flood control programs in the county. 

    Voter-approved Bond Repayment Tax (Debt Service)

    Board vote: 5-0
    Rate: $0.5200 (reduction of 17 cents)
    Budgeted expenditure: $118 million
    Details: This secondary tax is restricted to repaying voter-approved bonds that were used over the past 30 years to construct public buildings and recreational amenities, provide for historic preservation and for neighborhood investment and conservation, among other things.

    Stadium District

    The board voted 3-2 to approve the budget for the Stadium District, which operates Kino Sports and Entertainment Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way. The District is primarily funded through a car rental fee and supplemented by the General Fund. The district’s budget for the coming fiscal year is $8.3 million.

    Other Budget Highlights

    Road Repair Funding

    Supervisors approved using Certificates of Participation to continue the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) program begun last year. The Board approved spending $55 million for road repairs, which will pay for the repair of about 127 miles of local roads and about 45 miles of collector and arterials. For the local roads, the worst roads according to the County’s rating system will be fixed first. The PAYGO program will fix all of the County’s roads and keep them repaired by 2030.

    Capital improvements

    The County will spend $165 million in capital project funding next year, which will assist the local economy by funding jobs in the construction industry. Among the hundreds of projects to be funded are:
    • Construction of the Northwest Service Center on Miracle Mile, which will combine in one location several County services in the Northwest Tucson area and save the County money in the long run by eliminating rent payments;
    • New libraries in Vail and Sahuarita areas;
    • Extension of Valencia Road from Houghton Road to Old Spanish Trail;
    • And continued renovation and reconstruction of the Historic Courthouse, which will be completed in early 2021 when the University of Arizona’s Gem and Mineral Museum will open, adding to the economic vitality of downtown Tucson.
    You can find all the documents related to the FY 2021 budget drafting at the County Budget webpage