Local businesses question Pima County lawsuit against Raytheon

In a recent letter to the Pima County Supervisors, a group of business owners and CEO’s of local defense and aerospace companies expressed their concerns regarding the Pima County lawsuit against Raytheon. Raytheon is the area’s largest private employer, as well as being a customer of many smaller high tech businesses in Southern Arizona.

The County is suing Raytheon in response to the company’s successful appeal of Pima County’s property valuation. In that appeal, the Board of Equalization reduced the 2011-2012 valuation from approximately $40 million to approximately $26 million. The difference amounted to a relatively small dollar amount for both the County and the company – $571,000 over the two-year period.

It is the opportunity costs that concern most local business experts. In their letter, the group notes, “It is clear that the message the Board of Supervisors is sending with the acceptance of this lawsuit is that our community is unwilling to work with our largest employer and therefore, may also be unwilling to work with any other companies either current or future. The lessor and perhaps just as critical message being sent is that our community is not business friendly. By suing our largest contractor, we are truly showing a complete lack of respect to Raytheon and their contributions to our community.”

The group echoes the questions Supervisor Miller has been asking:

“Our number one question is, why is the Board of Supervisors allowing the Pima County Assessors’ Office to use County (tax payer) funds to sue our largest employer? We understand the Supervisors approved the use of the funds in the Assessors’ budget and did not authorize any additional funds for this purpose. We strongly believe the right move would have been to vote against the use of any County (tax payer) funds for this lawsuit.”

“It is our understanding that this is not the first time the County Assessors’ Office has sued Raytheon. It appears that in both cases, the Arizona State Board of Equalization reviewed the valuation and rendered an opinion. If this is the case, why is the Board of Supervisors not insisting that the decision of the State Board of Equalization be honored, if for no other reason than to avoid the use of county tax payer funds for an initiative that is considered very rare? As business owners and CEO’s we wonder, too, if due diligence has been conducted by the Board of Supervisors to insure that Raytheon is not being targeted unfairly. In other words, has any one of the Supervisors or their staff taken the time to research how often a case that has gone before the Arizona State Board of Equalization proceeds to a lawsuit? Is it a standard practice of the Pima County Tax Assessor’s Office, or is Raytheon the only company to be sued in the last four years?”

How much of the $3 billion impact on the state is actually realized here in our community simply by virtue of the fact that Raytheon is in Pima County? How much of that can we afford to lose?”

Raytheon employs approximately 10,300 residents of Southern Arizona.

According to the group:

Tucson is currently ranked 4th in the nation for total percent of the manufacturing workforce dedicated to high tech.

Raytheon is the dominant A & D contractor in the State receiving more than 48% of all Arizona DoD contracts.

The Tucson area received the largest total value of contracts from the DoD with more than $5.2 billion in 2010.
(Data from the Careerbuilder and EMSI Occupational Projections: 2013 – 2017

The U.S. workforce is projected to grow 4.4 percent from 2013 to 2017.

23 of the 52 largest metro areas outpace the projected national rate of job growth including Phoenix (not Tucson).

Tucson does rank in the top 15% for projected job growth (for low wage jobs).

Phoenix is one of the 3 projected to see high wage growth (Tucson is not).

Tucson – one of the top metros in overall job growth – is expected to see the second-lowest share of high-wage growth behind Detroit, at 26%.

Finally the group asked; “What would be the impact on Pima County’s economy if Raytheon were to continue to focus growth on other facilities in other parts of the country? What would the impact be to all the areas of importance to the citizens of Pima County if Raytheon invested more in their operations here?”

Related articles:

Pima County dissolves Ethics, Budget Review committees

Miller tackles Pima County status quo, women call for new leadership

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  1. You wilol spennd time registering to take
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  2. I didnt say dm was closing, we are going to lose most of it. They cant totally close since the boneyard is there. There are no ‘squadrons’ available to replace the A10 guys. READ more than the local newspapers/internet links. Even the ads had a blurb on the futility of trying to save the A10 guys.

  3. When I moved to Tucson to open a business, I realized how ‘poor’ the business climate was. I figured it would catch up to ‘today’ in a few years…..if not, maybe a few more years. Now that 33 years have passes w/o any interest in growing the financial base of the economy….and becoming self supporting at the same time, it still hasn’t changed. Tucson wants to be like Mexico, and they should just come out and say so. NO more business, just give us the trolley and great Mex. food. That’s all we need. Dirt roads can make a comeback, also.

  4. I’m sure Cochise County would welcome Raytheon with open arms. Pima county and Tucson are crapholes for businesses. They keep proving it to everyone over and over and over.

  5. Why do spammers think we would buy their products when their very spam causes us to be disgusted with them? Buy something from a disgusting company? No, thanks!

  6. Sally, you need to open your eyes to what is going on. Raytheon has been paying their taxes, however they are doing as any resident can and apparently the county does not like to be challenged in their assessments. Raytheon wants to lessen the burden of its operations, but the ‘leadership’ around here is only trying to milk them till they leave and believe me that they will. Huntsville ala is calling them and I am afraid they will soon answer the call. With a big shutdown at DM coming this summer the need for the raytheon to remain because it is close to one of its consumers will greatly diminish. When they go the local idiot dems/libs will wonder what happened because they did not ‘ do anything wrong’ They never do anything right either.

    Your and my taxes pale in comparison to raytheon. They pay taxes on facilities, on equipment and everything else. But since this is the new 5T era what can you expect. If lucky there will be another call center opening to replace the jobs lost at DM and Raytheon. Oh the mine with its promised 2-3000 jobs, forget about it because as noted in an article yesterday, it will be at the most 2-300 and that may also include the service jobs that could appear. Dont hold your breath that anything good is on the horizon. Tonights news is looking at the ronstadt center and they are praying that someone without any sense tried to buy in on it. If it fails like it probably will, I dont know who is going to be left to turn out the lights?

  7. There are other ways to encourage Raytheon to stay in Tucson than letting them get away with not paying their Pima County property taxes. I pay my property taxes. They should pay theirs. It sends a bad signal that they can get away with it.Give them another incentive.

  8. Tucson and Pima County will be filing for bankruptcy right behind Detroit and Atlantic City.
    Marana was smart to get the heck out of the county. How about all cities leave the county
    except for Tucson and let them both rot away until they are no more.

  9. to little to late… Tucson is headed BAJA – I don’t see anything changing that direction – DM and Raytheon will move away – so the indotouists can come and ride the trolly

  10. Well folks its a comming. DMAFB will only resort to being a junk yard -MAYBE- s even the A10 is going to be stored up in UTAH. Raytheon moved a very large contract to Huntsville Al because the locals would not work with them! So now they are being sued because the taxes are not enough for the greedy politicians of this area. Remember the 5T’s recently epressed by the local pols. TAXES, TAXES, TAXES, TAXES, trolly. They want everything but do not want any business to remain. Oh I know one of the t’s was reportedly TECH, but when you run the biggest tech company out that leaves little for Tech to grow on! Tourists, yes they may come to see what the DETROIT of the southwest looks like in a year or so since there WILL NOT BE anything of value left here. An empty airplane junkyard (2-3 of them if count marana), A univiversity that cannot support itself locally (it cant now!), and more EMPTY SHOPPING MALLS then there are now.

    Yes the dem/lib ideas surely do show progressive tendencies. The progress will be indicated by the number of empty buildings and neighborhoods that are left. I guess the bumper stickers I saw the other day really do represent a ‘free baja az’ everything has to be given to everyone free since there will not be any producers left and the bho/biden sticker is the primary indicator why.

    Remember we need to make the area into a transit point from mexico to the rest of the productive world. New freeways to the south, new rails to east LA to alleviate the crowding into junk cars full of illegals being involved in wrecks. ONLY QUESTION they won’t cant answer is WHO IS GOING TO PAY for these things and how will they be maintained. We already know that they cant maintain on a small scale and they want a bigger one!!!

    VOTE them ALL OUT at ALL LEVELS. Use the dem/lib mantra of vote and vote often (even in same election, remember they say there is no fear of being caught).

  11. It has been brought to my attention, that Raytheon has reduced it’s force by 1% within this last month and has offered to transfer some of it’s employees out of state.

  12. Raytheon is not going away, but, as the article says, it can and probably will start to diversify to other locals around the country.

    Observing the politics of S. Az. all of my life and having first hand experience with the Marxist machine that runs S. Az., I have always wondered why huge, very powerful companies allow local political powers to control them?

    If the large companies gathered their money and bought local media outlets, investigated the blustering politicos, ran their own politicians, bought the City and County Attorney’s offices, and over ran the area by bringing in large companies from around the world, not only could the corrupt be put out of office, but some of them could be put in jail.

    The outcome would be new entrepreneurial blood, capital, leadership and good jobs into S. Az..

    But, Raytheon, IBM, yes, even Rosemont seem intimidated by the blustering Saul Alinsky machine, that’s only weapon, in reality, is the bureaucrazy and intimidation.

    So, reverse the process, bury the Alinsky machine in capitalism and a free the news media.

    Take away their toys.

    There are more conservatives in Tucson than libs, but, unless big money steps into the fight, and fights smart, it is time to move.

  13. Well kids, you are about to find out what it would be like if Raytheon leaves. Just look at DM AFB in the next year or so. With the A10 gone and all of the associated jobs, just multiply that loss by about 50 because of the associated businesses and look at what you will have. Got a hot tip for the business that wrote the letter. Get active and get rid of the King and his jesters and we just might make some progress. Ya think?

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