Home Rule Proposition
What is Home Rule?
In 1980, Arizona voters approved a tax reform package that placed an expenditure limitation on cities and towns. However, this legislation also allows local voters to approve an exception to the state imposed expenditure limitation in their city or town, known as Home Rule. (Arizona State Constitution-Article IX, Section 20, subsection 9)
Under the State imposed expenditure limitation, a city or town may only spend a certain amount of funds. Regardless of the city or town’s revenue or individual needs, its budget is limited to the state imposed ceiling. Under the Home Rule Option, the city or town may determine its own expenditures based on its budget.
Why is it on the Primary Election Ballot?
The Town of Gila Bend voters have approved the Home Rule Option every four years since 1995. To continue the Home Rule Option, it must be passed by the voters every four years. It was last passed in 2014.
Have other cities and towns authorized Home Rule?
YES! As of January there are 52 cities and towns in Arizona that operate under Home Rule and of those 52, 24 are due for a vote in 2018.
What happens if Home Rule is not continued?
If Home Rule is not approved, the Town of Gila Bend will operate under the existing state imposed expenditure limit. Under this limit, the Town of Gila Bend may not be able to budget, and therefore expend the revenues that it collects to provide services such as Fire, Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, Social Services, Senior Services, Recreation, Parks and Street Maintenance to Gila Bend residents.
The state imposed limitation for FY 2019-2020 (next year) is $20,438,970. The current FY 2017-2018 budget is $22,498,686. The $20,438,970 is only an estimate and subject to changes in population figures and the % change in the GDP deflators.
Does approval of Home Rule give the Town authority to impose new taxes?
NO! Approval to continue Home Rule only allows the Town to spend the revenues it collects as approved in the annual budget. Home Rule does not change the property tax or sales tax that the Town currently collects.
If Home Rule is continued, what will it mean for Town residents?
With Home Rule, Town residents and the Mayor and Town Council will continue to decide what level of service is best for Gila Bend.
Home Rule allows the Town to expend the revenues it receives to provide services to residents. Each year, the Town will set its expenditure limit after citizen input through the budget and public hearing process.
Because the Town is required to have a balanced budget, expenditures will be restricted by available revenues.
For more information about Home Rule please contact the Town Office at 928-683-2255 or stop by and visit at 644 W Pima.