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  • Supervisors adopt 2017 Legislative priorities agenda

    Nov 22, 2016 | Read More News
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    supervisorsThe Pima County Board of Supervisors Nov. 22 voted 5-0 to approve the County’s legislative priorities agenda for the state Legislature’s upcoming 2017 session.

    The state greatly influences the county policies and its budget and the Board adopts a legislative priorities agenda each year to ensure county officials and administrators have a list of priorities for discussions with legislators and the governor’s office.

    Increasing state support for transportation funding is the county’s top priority for 2017. The Board is asking the Legislature to grant authority to the Regional Transportation Authority to seek voter approval for a half-cent sales tax for 10 years to pay for pavement preservation. The county also would like legislators to raise more transportation funding through an increase in the state gas tax, which hasn’t been raised in a quarter century; to create a more equitable distribution of the state’s gas tax; and to halt state diversion of gas tax revenue for other state purposes.

    The county’s second priority is a change in state law requiring a unanimous board vote to impose a county sales tax to a simple majority vote. Every county in the state has a sales tax of one kind or another which helps reduce their property tax rates. Previous attempts to pass a sales tax in Pima County were thwarted by a single supervisor.

    “Our high primary property tax rate results from not having the diverse revenue sources of Arizona’s other 14 counties. It is likely Pima County will continue to be targeted by the Legislature with punitive legislation until we reduce our primary property tax rate and levy,” County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry wrote the Board in a memo proposing the legislative lobbying priorities.

    Other county priorities include changes to election law, criminal sentencing reform and clarification of laws governing leases of public property for economic development purposes.

    County Administrator’s memo to Supervisors

    County legislative priorities agenda in brief, by order of priority:

    Transportation Funding

    • Repairing streets and highways
    • Stop diversion of HURF
    • Increase statewide transportation revenue
    • Change HURF redistribution formula

    Property Tax Reduction

    • Eliminate and reduce some state cost transfers
    • Allow simple majority vote for county sales tax adoption

    Election Integrity

    • Allow hand counts
    • Allow the sorting and scanning of ballot images
    • Allow tabulation audits using independent software
    • Allow counties to conduct all-mail elections
    • Make scanned ballot images public records

    Economic Recovery and Job Creation

    • Clarify laws governing the leasing of real property for economic development reasons

    Criminal Justice Reform

    • Reclassify some first offense misdemeanors to civil offenses
    • Allow judges to mitigate financial penalties for some defendants
    • Expand community restitution
    • Allow waiver of state surcharges