Proposition 463: Pima County Proposes Ponzi Scheme

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry is asking the public to approve yet one more bond package, Proposition 463, despite the fact that under his management, the County has bonds it cannot afford to use. As a result, there has been wide-spread speculation that the latest bond request before voters is really little more than a Ponzi Scheme.

Ponzi Scheme

A form of fraud in which belief in the success of a nonexistent enterprise is fostered by the payment of quick returns to the first investors from money invested by later investors.

A Ponzi scheme is able to maintain the illusion of a sustainable business as long as there continues to be new investors willing to contribute new funds and most of the investors do not demand full repayment and are willing to believe in the non-existent assets that they are purported to own.

In November 1997, Pima County voters approved $350 million in Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF) bonds, to be repaid with a portion of the County’s share of HURF revenues from the State, to widen and rebuild roadways throughout Pima County and within cities and towns. Today, a full 18 percent ($62.4 million) of the bonds remain unused as over 70 percent of the roads fell into “poor” or ‘failed” condition.


Huckelberry blames everyone and everything for the fact that “the 1997 HURF revenue projects were originally planned for completion by Fiscal Year 2013/14,” but “have taken longer to complete.” Whatever the case may be, according to Huckelberry, “For Fiscal Year 2017/18, HURF revenues to Pima County are projected to total approximately $61.6 million, and 40% are forecasted to repay debt for these transportation projects.”

Bond Sales (As of June 30, 2018)
BondsTotal Authorization (Millions)Total Bond Sales (Millions)Remaining Authorization (Millions)Percent Remaining
1997 General Obligation$ 257.0$ 257.0$ 0.00%
1997 Sewer Revenue$ 105.0$ 105.0$ 0.00%
1997 HURF Revenue$ 350.0$ 287.6$ 62.418%
2004 General Obligation$ 582.2$ 582.2$ 0.00%
2004 Sewer Revenue$ 150.0$ 150.0$ 0.00%
2006 General Obligation$ 54.0$ 54.0$ 0.00%
2014 General Obligation$ 22.0$ 22.0$ 0.00%

From Ally Miller, Pima County District 1 Supervisor [Published on Sep 21, 2018] Constituent asks Huckelberry why taxpayers being asked to pay $33 MILLION in interest and expenses for bond road repairs. Huckelbery explains options including how the county “launders the money,” and creating Certificates of Participation (COPs) debt.

Gary Davidson discusses his opposition Proposition 463 with Chris DeSimone of 1030AM KVOI’s Wake Up Tucson.

For more information on Proposition 463:


  1. Pima county received 92 million in HURF and VLT funds this year. Of that money that should be going directly to maintain our roads: 26 million was transferred to the general fund, 19 million goes to pay previous road bonds (how did those work out?), and 40 million goes to cover the vast majority of the 43 million dollar Pima County transportation department annual budget – leaving virtually nothing to go to our roads. Out of a 1.3 Billion dollar annual budget, and 92 Million in HURF/VLT from the state – the board of supervisor majority and administrator Huckelberry’s have neglected to budget 38 million to maintain our roads. Remember our roads didn’t get into this condition overnight…it took over 20 years of neglect. The best predictor of the future is the past – don’t be fooled again. Vote NO on Prop 463!

  2. The most wonderful part of these bonds and the debt on property owners they incur is that illegal aliens, the real revenue generators to the local governments, enjoy such a much better lifestyle with absolutely no contribution. It’s just like tourism, except instead of the ‘tourist’ paying the taxes, it’s directly assessed against property owners!

    Isn’t a great being a “Welcoming Community”?

  3. Huckelberry is paid over $300K a year. How is he doing in his job? How are the roads around town/county?

    Vote No!

  4. Here Here. In Websters the word mismanagement has picture of Huckelberry in the definition. Along with cronyism.

  5. Not to mention that the bonds don’t cover $1.5 million in new maintenance, that another bond vote is planned in 5 years and even that won’t fix all the roads, or that property taxes will — despite claims to the contrary — go up since the county is already projecting increases in assessed valuations. Vote No, and property taxes will actually go down as existing bonds are paid off.

    • When Huck wants to use COPS (Certificates of Participation-mortgaging county buildings for debt) he says they are the perfect instrument for short term financing. When he wants you to approve General obligation debt he describes it as “laundering the money”. Things that make you go hmmmm….Don’t be fooled again! Vote NO on prop 463!

  6. Now, if only the Star and local reporters would report this as you have done here. Unfortunately, they are probably told not to by the power brokers here in the COT and Pima County. I hope this thing goes down in flames just like the last one!

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