Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Ahhh, so sad. The red light runners initiative by Tucson gadfly John Kromko and his group Tucson Traffic Justice failed to qualify for the ballot. Red-light cameras won't be put to vote.
So that leaves "Plan Tucson," the general plan for the City of Tucson for the next decade, which will be on the ballot for public approval as required by state law.
And it leaves two propositions:
Proposistion 201 (Initiative Petition #2013-I004) Sustainable Retirement Benefits Act (.pdf). The Committee for Sustainable Retirement in support of the initiative ("The Committee") is the local group fronting for this out-of-state operation by a Virginia-based advocacy organization started by longtime ballot initiative activist Paul Jacob, the Liberty Initiative Fund, and financed in part by the National Taxpayers Union. This is the initiative to bankrupt the City of Tucson, and turn us into Detroit. Finance Director Kelly Gottschalk estimates the change would cost taxpayers $24 million extra in the first year alone and tens of millions more each year for more than a decade, placing the city in line for potential financial ruin.
Proposistion 401 Permanent Increase to the City of Tucson's Base Expenditure Limit (.pdf). The City Council is asking voters to approve a $50 million increase to what it can spend in a given year. Voters will decide whether city can lift state spending cap : The request won't raise taxes or bring in any other new revenues, but it will authorize the city to spend an extra $50 million each year, if it can find the money. If voters turn down the measure, the city would be forced to make even deeper cuts to services. If nothing's done by 2016, the city's expected costs will exceed the state limit by $9.2 million.
Cities have two options to get around the limits, both requiring voter/taxpayer approval: home rule or a permanent base increase.
Home Rule allows the city to adjust the limits each year to whatever fits their needs, but it requires voter approval every four years. Tucson had home rule from 2007-10, but it was voted out in the 2009 election.
A permanent base increase only requires a single vote and, if approved, would meet the city's spending needs well into the future.
The city last raised the base in 1987 by $46.9 million which was good enough to meet city spending needs for over two decades.
The spending-limit increase won't raise any additional revenue and wouldn't result in a bigger tax bill for residents. It would just let the city spend any money it collects.