Magazine article Government Finance Review

Tucson Citizen Committee Recommends Regional Approach to Fiscal Challenges

Magazine article Government Finance Review

Tucson Citizen Committee Recommends Regional Approach to Fiscal Challenges

Article excerpt

The City of Tucson and Pima County must develop cooperative strategies for dealing with regional problems, including the consolidation of duplicative services, if Tucson is to achieve financial stabilization and community revitalization. This is the overarching conclusion of the Citizen Finance Service Review Committee in a report presented to the mayor and City Council in February.

"Without immediate action, followed by fundamental change, we see Tucson heading toward a future as a second-rate city at best and almost certain financial collapse at worst," the report states.

The 10-member committee was appointed in May 2003 by City Manager James Keene to study the city's deteriorating financial situation. Tucson's budget has declined by $79 million since fiscal year 2000, jeopardizing basic government services such as public safety, street maintenance, public libraries, and parks and recreation.

To address the immediate crisis, the committee recommended removing the rental and advertising exemptions from the business privilege tax, transferring services to enterprise operations wherever viable, increasing or implementing user fees for some services, and enacting impact fees for housing. …

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