Queen Creek voters will have the opportunity to vote on the Home Rule renewal; the proposed Home Rule election is Aug. 28, 2018.
What is Home Rule? And why does it matter?
- Home Rule is a part of the State of Arizona Constitution, which was amended by Arizona voters in 1980 to limit the amount of expenditures by cities, towns, counties and community college districts.
- The state-imposed limitation restricts spending by imposing a formula that takes a city or town’s 1979-1980 expenditure level (estimated by the State for Queen Creek since it was not an officially incorporated town until 1989) and multiplies it by a population factor and an inflation factor.
- Proposition 407 (Maricopa County) and Proposition 424 (Pinal County) asks voters to consider an extension of the current Alternative Expenditure Limitation/Home Rule Option.
- Home Rule is valid for four years. The previous Home Rule ballot measure passed with a 67% approval in 2014 and is effective through June 30, 2019. If approved, the Aug. 28 Home Rule renewal will become effective on July 1, 2019.
What Home Rule is NOT:
- The state-imposed limitation is not an issue about taxes or revenues, as the Town would already have the revenues. Instead, it limits the ability of cities and towns to spend money.
- Home Rule is not a new tax. It allows the Town to create a balanced budget and spend revenues collected.
What does it mean?
- A “yes” vote means you are voting for the Home Rule renewal, setting the Town’s budget at the local level by the Town Council, which allows for flexibility and local control to address Town priorities and needs. It means the Town can spend the revenues collected for projects and services as prioritized in our balanced budget.
- A “no” vote means you are voting against the Home Rule renewal, and the Town will be required to operate under the state-imposed budget limitations.
- If the Home Rule renewal does not pass, the state-imposed formula will require a substantial cut to the Town’s budget, despite having available revenue. The cut would result in reducing, and in some cases eliminating, Town programs and services. For example, the Town has a projected budget of $167.6 million for 2019-2020. If the Home Rule renewal does not pass, the state’s formula would dictate the Town budget could not exceed $41.6 million for fiscal year 2019-2020, a $126 million reduction.
- The projected FY 19/20 budget of $167.6 million includes all Town programs and services. In FY 19/20, the cost of providing water and wastewater is $57.6 million alone, which would exceed the state-imposed limit of $41.6 million.
- The projected FY 19/20 budget includes:
- Water & wastewater – $57.6 million
- General government (development services, econ dev, parks, rec, etc.) – $31.7 million
- Street maintenance & improvements – $31.3 million
- Police & fire – $25 million
- Debt service – $19.1 million
- Solid waste – $3.1 million