The Pima County Board of Supervisors this month voted 5-0 to create a special advisory committee to research the advantages or disadvantages of adopting a county sales tax.
Pima County is the only county in Arizona that doesn’t have a sales tax supporting its budget. As a result, the majority of county operations are paid for through several property taxes, giving Pima County the highest combined property tax rate in the state.
The 18-member Sales Tax Advisory Committee will hold a minimum of seven community meetings to receive community input about whether to adopt a county sales tax. The board has tasked the committee with providing it advice on the following:
- Should the Board of Supervisors adopt a half-cent sales tax?
- If so, should the sales tax be limited in any way? For example, should its collection be limited for a particular number of years?
- Should revenues be allocated to road repair and primary property tax reduction purposes, and if so, what percentage of revenue should be allocated to road repair versus primary property tax reduction purposes?
The committee is to present its report to the board by March in time for the board to consider it during the Fiscal Year 2019 budget discussions. State law allows for counties to adopt a sales tax, but adoption requires a unanimous vote of the board. (Those votes have come up from time to time over the last 20 years, but the unanimous vote never happened thanks to former Supervisor Ray Carroll – Ed.)
Committee membership will consist of the following:
- 5 members from the Board of Supervisors, who each have one appointee;
- 6 members from the Pima County Transportation Advisory Committee;
- 4 members from organizations representing businesses in Pima County;
- 3 members from organizations representing low income families and the elderly
The board and county administration will decide on membership of the committee at a subsequent board meeting.
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Copyright 2017 Southern Arizona News-Examiner