Pima County calls off 2013 bond election - Inside Tucson Business: News

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Pima County calls off 2013 bond election

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Posted: Friday, January 18, 2013 3:24 pm

Plans for Pima County to seek voter approval this fall for what’s been billed as investment in the region’s economic recovery will be postponed until November 2014 at the earliest.

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry told the Board Advisory Committee Friday (Jan. 18) the tepid economic recovery combined a seeming reticence of voter support last election makes a 2013 election impractical.

He also said the shrinking tax base was another consideration, explaining that the tax base has contracted by more than 17 percent since 2009. And, since the tax base generally lags behind the overall economy by two to three years, Huckelberry said he doesn’t anticipate the tax base will stabilize until 2015.

A smaller tax base means tax rates must go up to maintain the same amount of revenue to a governmental jurisdiction.

If voters were to approve a bond package in 2014, the new debt would be issued in 2015 and initially spending would be moderate because projects would be in the pre-construction design-phase.

In October Huckelberry issued a Economic Development Action Plan calling for $197 million in improvements, including $90 million for roads, $37 million for tourism facilities, $30 million in economic development infrastructure improvements, $30 million specifically for the area south of Tucson International Airport in part to provide a buffer surrounding Raytheon Missile Systems plant and $10 million for the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park.

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