Originally submitted by Pima County:
The financial picture isn’t right for a bond election in 2014, according to an analysis by Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry.
The property tax base still hasn’t recovered enough to make a bond election prior to 2015 practical, he advised the Bond Advisory Committee in a memo. The tax base is projected to be $7.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2014/15 – that’s more than 23 percent lower than the $9.8 billion of Fiscal Year 2009/10.
The forecast does not anticipate an increase in the tax base until Fiscal Year 2015/16.
The County’s conservative debt management principles also play a critical role in the decision. The County has set an aggressive debt repayment schedule, retiring 90 percent of our debt within 11 years. The County also has maintained a voluntary tax rate cap of .81 cents per $100 of valuation, to ensure predictability for taxpayers.
Combined, those two factors have a limiting effect on issuing new debt. In fact, under these promises, no new debt can be issued at all until 2016 anyway, which is why there is little practical effect of waiting another year for the election.
“In a recent survey, we heard from the community about the priorities they see in the region and in their neighborhoods and while we are encouraged by their interest and passion, we also want to make sure we continue to be responsible stewards of