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Core Services Tax - Proposition 400

• The half-cent sales tax increase (50 cents per $100 purchase) or “core tax” is temporary and
Quick Facts
will automatically sunset by law after 5 years
• Core tax revenues can only be spent on Public Safety, Transportation, and Parks & Recreation
• Without the tax, the City will have to make an additional $40 million in budget cuts to
address next year’s $51 million projected deficit
• Core tax revenues will be independently audited and a quarterly report will be reviewed by
a citizen oversight committee
• Since 2007, the City has lost over $70 million in sales tax revenue and as a result has had to
significantly cut services
• Current city staffing is at 1998 levels yet population has grown 17% since then

The Core Tax and Permanent Override Review Committee has recommended that city residents vote on a half-cent
sales tax increase (50 cents per $100 purchase) that could generate an estimated $40 million annually to maintain and
preserve core services. The committee, appointed by the Mayor and Council, is also advising them on alternatives if
this tax is not approved by voters and will make its recommendations to Mayor and Coucil in September. If passed by
voters, the tax increase would sunset in five years.

If the half-cent sales tax passes, revenues will support the following staffing and service levels:

Police
º Retain 224 commissioned officer and 50 civilian positions.
º Continue response to calls related to civil matters, alarms and public assists.
º Avoid requirement to report certain crimes only through internet.
º Continue community policing initiatives and retain community response teams and bicycle units.

Fire
º Keep all fire stations open.
º Retain 150 commissioned positions, 7 engine/ladder companies, 3 paramedic companies and 3 alpha trucks.
º Avoid longer response times and potential average increase from the current 4.5 minutes to 5 to 9 minutes.
º Retain Fire Prevention staff for Certificates of Occupancy, fire inspections, and public education.

Parks and Recreation


º Keep all current recreation centers open and continue regular hours of operation at facilities.
º Retain 168 positions.
º Continue support for performing arts events and civic/community events.
º Retain KIDCO program with its 5,800 participants at after-school and summer recreation sites.

Court Services (City Court, Public Defender, City Prosecutor)


º Retain 28 Court positions, 7 Public Defender positions, and 5 City Prosecutor positions.
º Avoid increase in wait times in Court lobby and on telephone.
º Continue prosecution of misdemeanor crimes such as criminal damage, graffiti, and prostitution.
º Continue prosecution for Code violations pertaining to zoning, neighborhood preservation, noise,
weedy lots, and junk cars.

Transportation
º Retain the current level of Sun Tran and Sun Van Service.
º Maintain the Stormwater Program to protect groundwater.
º Keep the Graffiti Abatement Program at today’s level.

If you require these materials in accessible format or in a language other than English, call 791-4204.
1 For more information: www.tucsonaz.gov/coretax 10/4/10
Core Services Tax - Proposition 400
HOW WE GOT HERE
Decreased local sales tax revenues (see box) and a continued decline in
the City’s portion of state-shared revenues mean that the General Fund
cannot sustain existing service levels. From Fiscal Year 2007 to the
Fiscal Year 2011 end projection, these revenues decreased by a combined
$70 million.

This situation is not unique to Tucson. Other cities face declining


revenues due to higher unemployment levels and decreased spending.
This has led to a reduction in sales tax receipts that the City of Tucson’s
General Fund uses to support its core services – police, fire, court
services, parks and recreation, and transportation.

WHAT WE HAVE DONE OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS


The City has taken steps to deal with declining revenues. Below is a list of cuts that have been made to help balance the budget.

• Suspension of residential street paving; reduced roadway maintenance


• Closure of 17 of 27 summer-session swimming pools and 6 of 10 winter-session pools
• Reduction in neighborhood center hours, including closure of Ormsby Neighborhood Center
• Eliminated funding for more than 130 vacant police positions
• Reduction in funding to outside agencies such as arts, economic development and social services
• Deferred infrastructure replacement and maintenance of streets, facilities, vehicles, equipment
and technology
• Elimination of the Back to Basics (neighborhood improvement) program
• Funding cuts to youth employment programs
• Decrease in leisure classes and elimination of teen programs and most adult sports programs
• Elimination of 479 General Fund positions (187 between FYs 10 & 11)
• Employee layoffs and reduced compensation (wage freezes, furlough days, increased public
safety pension contribution, increased medical premium costs)
• Debt restructuring

While the cuts have been deep, additional service


reductions will be necessary in order for the City
to balance the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. In an effort
to maintain service levels, City leaders have deferred
making more significant service cuts in anticipation
that the economy would recover. However, the
recession has been long and deep, and now the
City is at a critical point -- that without additional
revenues, city residents will be receiving reduced
levels of basic core services. Citizens will be asked to
decide in November what level of services they want
in the future.

Proposition 400 is on the ballot for November 2, 2010.


2 For more information: www.tucsonaz.gov/coretax 10/4/10