by Jim Nintzel
County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has released a proposed budget for next year. In light of increasing property values, he proposes cutting back the primary property tax rate, but his more audacious idea is providing even more property tax relief--as long as the Board of Supervisors agree to a new half-cent sales tax, which can be created with a unanimous vote from the supes.
Huck says that the county is too reliant on property taxes.
"Since being appointed county administrator, it has consistently been my judgment that the county's general fund revenues are insufficiently diversified to provide a stable, predictable and efficient tax base for the institution or the community," he bureaucrats in his budget intro. "The county is far too reliant on property tax. Historical circumstances that have developed over the past 13 years within the county have reinforced this opinion and illustrated the critical need for enhanced revenue diversification."
If the supes agree, the sales tax would rise to 6.6 percent in unincorporated Pima County and 8.6 percent inside the Tucson city limits.
Huck points out that all the other counties in Arizona have a half-cent sales tax.
In the past, Huckelberry's half-cent sales tax proposal has been blocked by Republican Supervisor Ray Carroll. We're waiting for Carroll to call us back to see where he stands this year.