“The buck stops here” is a quote used by our 33rd President, Harry Truman, regarding his ability to accept responsibility for everything that happened under his Presidential watch. In contrast, our County Board of Supervisor’s majority does not share this attitude, as this Board’s mindset and company line is to blame the state for its own inability to fiscally manage our county.
Both Ramon Valadez and Ray Carroll have recently written opinion articles blaming our county financial woes on the state. This is the new mantra, repeated by the County Administrator and all others on the Board, with the exception of the District 1 Supervisor – Ally Miller.
Much like a sixth grader blames his dog for eating his homework, in his June 24 Star opinion piece, Ramon Valadez states, “ if we were able to determine our own budget priorities, there would be no increase to the primary tax rate this year.” So how then, Mr. Valadez, do you explain our property taxes increasing 28% since 2012, with last year’s increase setting a state record? 1
Is it possible the Board is unable to responsibly manage the budget and is using the state as an excuse to raise property taxes once again? Or is it possible that Pima County’s decades long practice of manipulating the state’s funding to the county is finally exposed? Perhaps both?
The state has had to make tough budget decisions and cuts, as Arizona’s budget has ballooned out of control. Consequently, new legislation was enacted by the Legislature to rework the 1% cap legislation that has been in place since 1980.
This 1% cap requires residents to pay up to 1% of their property value, with the state paying all cumulative amounts over 1% for each county.2 This State Legislature decided that paying the overage was no longer sustainable; as a result, the new legislation gives each county a million dollars and requires them to make up the rest.