Pima County tax base reduced by historic 16 percent

pima-county-supervisors-richard-elias-ramon-valadezThe request of Vistoso Catalina L.P. for a rezoning change of approximately 2.9 acres from GR-1 (Rural Residential) to CR-3 (Single Residence) (Cluster Development Option), on property located on the west side of Twin Lakes Drive in Catalina should have been a simple matter for the Pima County Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Miller was absent from the meeting last week due to the illness resulting in a tie vote on the proposal.

Miller supported the change of the zoning of the property located in her district. The vote was expected to be 3-2 in favor of the change this week.

There was no opposition to the request from neighbors, and the tax base is so quickly dwindling in Pima County that even a small development like Vistoso Catalina should have been seen as a asset that the area can ill afford to lose. Yet, in an inexplicable move, Supervisor Ray Carroll, who had voted for the zoning change the week before, voted against the change yesterday.

Immediately before the vote, Carroll left the dais and was followed by Supervisor Ramon Valadez. Within moments Supervisor Richard Elias left the dais and appeared to join the two in the back room. Moments later, thee three returned to their seats, and in moments a tax producing development was destroyed for the time being.

Nothing changed, but Carroll’s vote. Opposition didn’t grow during the week. The proposal did not change during the week. Yet, Carroll’s position on the zoning change did change after his off dias side meeting with Valadez and Elias.

The proposal failed in a 3-2 vote.

The proposed rezoning conformed to the Pima County Comprehensive Plan (Co7-00-20). The Planning and Zoning Commission voted 7-0 to recommend the zoning change. Pima County staff even recommended the Board’s approval of the project.

Yet it failed.

One attendee at the meeting said later, “It is the arbitrary nature of the Pima County Board of Supervisors decisions that leads so many in the business community to believe that there must be something more to getting developments approved than good plans, and community support. What are the magic words, and who do you have to hire?”

In a memo by Pima County administrator Chuck Huckelberry dated January 9, 2014, he advised that “shrinkage of the property tax base since FY 2009/10 to today is equal to a 16 percent reduction; the largest in our history of property tax assessed value since inception of the modern property tax system since 1977.”

“The property tax base expands in two ways: 1) through appreciation of the real property and value, and 2) through new growth or new taxable properties added to the tax roll. There is little appreciation attached to the tax base today, and new growth is limited to between 1 and 2 percent. It is the reality upon which our FY 2014/25 Budget will be based. While cities and towns will celebrate the increase in sales tax revenues, our revenue growth from economic recovery is stagnant,” concluded Huckelberry.

Yet, in one inexplicable and obviously arbitrary move, the Pima County Board of Supervisors crushed one more development through which property taxes might have been derived.

Business people say this action is yet another example of why developers, large and small, will continue second guessing whether they will decide to invest thousands of dollars only to be turned down for their projects without explanation….without reason. In the end it is the taxpayers of Pima County who suffers the most as our property base continues to shrink and job creation is stifled by the Pima County board of Supervisors.

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  1. I say send him back to Chicago where they appreciate democrat thugs. He is the reason we should defund the local Pima Republicans. They support him and are probably scared of what he’d do to them if they didn’t.

  2. I am amazed by the audacity of Ray Carroll. Why hasn’t he been investigated yet? Such a disgrace as an elected individual and as slippery and slimy as they come. Praise Ally Miller for standing up to this bully and I can only hope the residents of Pima County wake up in 2016! VOTE RAY CARROLL OUT OF OFFICE!

  3. The only Supervisor that is truly looking after our tax dollars is Ally Miller. I am very glad that she is my District Supervisor. When are we going to get behind other candidates that get it?

  4. Until someone who was impacted by the vote files a complaint with the Attorney General The BOS,City Council and the School boards will continue to abuse their power.

    At this point there are no Consequences!!!!

  5. Interesting, that’s the same Ray Carroll who said the Pima County Board of Supervisors has enough transparency. It is events like this that drive taxpayers to demand open meetings laws. Ray Carroll, explain yourself and your vote.

  6. It didn’t matter whether I was there or not….the item automatically continues to next agenda. We did this several times for Sharon Bronson during her absences and there was no issue and certainly 3 supervisors didn’t leave the dais and then come back to vote.
    If they had objection they should have the courtesy to explain their vote. Not a word.
    But this is how it is.
    BTW-You are not allowed to provide direction until the vote takes place….

  7. This zoning request should have gone through. It’s a shame Miller wasn’t at last weeks meeting telephonically to provide instruction.
    Not sure it would have made a difference though.

  8. And just wait til they come knocking on your door for a vote for more Debt. Less tax base means increased taxes. With this kind of behavior we need to stop voting for any further debt until we get change in Pima County.
    Please remember this come 2016. I will remind all of you.
    This vote hurt Pima County and the taxpayers…but let the cabal have their day of fun and frolick at the expense of all of us.
    Supervisor Ally Miller

  9. Ray Carroll probably didn’t get paid off enough the first vote. When the second vote came around seems the right amount of graft was received by the “Republican from Chicago that was appointed by Grijalva”. Look at his history and it will make you sick. Only support Republican candidates who support freedom and will respect the constitution. Get the government out of micromanaging our lives and killing Tucson & Pima County.

    • We had a good candidate against Ray this last time. When you get the candidate where is the support? Where is the out rage then? Where are the dollars to make a difference? You had Tanner Bell against Sharon why is she still sitting there?

  10. Arbitrary and capricious decision making is the hallmark of Pima County Huckelberry’s Board. He votes against the recommendations of his own staff. Very odd. Only 18% of this state is under private ownership and attempts to stimulate the economy are voted down. Huckelberry has had his 20-year run. Please step aside now to let fresh blood circulate through the Pima County corpse.

  11. WOW aren’t we getting bold? Three Supervisors hold a separate meeting in front of the cameras. Isn’t that an OPEN violation of open meeting laws.

    Clearly Pima County has joined the BHO school of lawless behavior, daring anyone to challenge them.

    Ray Carroll should do what Kozachik did at least he had the courage and latent honesty to do, register as a democrat.

  12. Why in the h-e-l-l are these people being elected and re-elected? Why because there are too many on the right side that do nothing. When was the last time you attended a board meeting? When was the last time you stood with a sign protesting idiotic government practices? When was the last time YOU got involved in anything to stop the direction the crap is going in?

    • Protesting in the heat when no one cares what you want will only get you a sunburn. Talking for two minutes at board meetings when the members clearly show they don’t care what you want won’t accomplish anything. A plan is needed to win elections by talking directly with the people to change how they vote and door to door is about all there is.

  13. Answer the question Ray carroll. Why did you change your vote? And did you hold an impromptu “closed door” meeting with Sup Valadez?

  14. Yea, business friendly this entire area isn’t. 8th poorest area in the country and damn proud of it. Just more of the same from your elected idiots.

  15. The no-growthers, the non-working radical environmentalists have won. A dying Pima County and Tucson is what they have left for our children.

  16. decisions that leads so many in the business community to believe that there must be something more to getting developments approved than good plans, and community support. What are the magic words, and who do you have to hire?” OR PAY OFF?

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