Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Oro Valley Will Not Consider New Taxes

The town of Oro Valley will not look at alternative revenue sources this fiscal year. That decision was opined by the Oro Valley Town Council last Wednesday by a vote of 5 to 2.

The item was asked to be considered by the two dissenting council members, Garner and Zinkin. They requested this discussion because the strategic plan, a plan that has been referred to by the town manager as critical to the implementation of the General Plan, called for consideration of alternative revenue sources.  What Garner and Zinkin wanted was a special study session where projections of spending and revenue sources for the next 5, perhaps 10 years would be discussed.

Those council members who disagreed with considering alternative sources at this time did so on the basis that the town does not know what additional revenue requirements it has and that, therefore, there is no basis to use to consider alternative sources. Council Member Snider summed this position noting that the town should look at alternative sources when it determines what is financial needs are for the next fiscal year.

Snider is not entirely correct.  The town does know that it needs additional revenues over the next 4 of the next 6 years.  The town's general fund forecasts show a deficit in 2014, 2016 and 2017.  The highway fund forecast is for a deficit in 5 of the next 6 years.

No new taxes can be created and imposed on the residents of Oro Valley without a vote of the residents. In addition, state law requires that such can be discussed only after a 60-day notice to residents.  Given the timing of the next election, there will be no new forms of taxation this year or for the next several years since, there can be no voting for such until 2016 of the earliest.  In addition, it is highly likely that this discussion will occur once the study of Naranja Town Site is completed and once the  2015 General Plan has been drafted.

Town counsel attorney Kelly Schwab plans to research what can be done to discuss additional revenue sources within the confines of state requirement, perhaps as part of a study session in relation to the 2014 budget.

We have included a video of council's discussion for your review.  Listening time is about 9 minutes.

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