- 2020 ELECTION INFORMATION - HOME RULE
Avondale voters are being asked to consider an extension of the alternative expenditure limitation – also known as Home Rule – for the City of Avondale for the next four years. If approved, this ballot measure would enable the city to continue local control of its budget and have the authority to spend the revenues the City already receives.
- WHY IS HOME RULE ON THE BALLOT?
In 1979/80, the Arizona State Constitution was amended to apply an expenditure limitation on all cities and towns in Arizona based on their 1978-79 expenditures (with an allowance for inflation and population). The projected expenditure limitation for FY 2021-2022 is $60.5 million. The State Constitution allows the voters of a city or town to approve a four-year alternative expenditure limitation, known as Home Rule. Certain expenditures are excluded from the state-imposed expenditure limitation, including federal grants, payments on debt service, and capital projects financed through debt.
Avondale has seen significant growth since 1979/80 when the expenditure limitation formula for Arizona cities and towns was developed. As the city has grown, so too have revenues and operating costs. Every year, the City prepares a budget that reflects current revenues and allocates funds according to the needs of the community to provide the levels of service that residents have come to expect. Improvements are scheduled according to need and the feedback from the residents.
The voters of Avondale have approved revenues to enhance City services, including the public safety sales tax (approved 2003), the dedicated sales tax for streets, transit, and utility improvements (approved 2001), and the increase in the general fund sales tax from 1% to 1.5% (approved 1989). These voter authorized revenue streams are not accounted for in the state-imposed expenditure limitation. The City also funds a significant portion of capital improvements through transfers of operating funds rather than using debt. Utilizing existing funds rather than debt allows the City to save money from interest payments and preserve financial flexibility in the future. The state-imposed expenditure limitation incentivizes the use of debt since monies received from debt issuances and payments on debt are exempted from the state-imposed limitation.
The City estimates that service and improvement needs for Avondale during fiscal year 2021-22 will cost approximately $168 million. This is approximately $84 million over the state-imposed limitation (including estimated exclusions of $24 million).
- IS THIS NEW TO AVONDALE?
Every four years since 1981, Avondale has asked voters to consider the “Home Rule” alternative Expenditure Limitation option, which allowed voters to set an appropriate expenditure limitation for Avondale, based upon current financial conditions, for the four years following each particular election. Avondale voters have voted yes and approved the Home Rule Option every year it has been on the ballot (1981, 1985, 1989, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2012, and 2016).
- WILL THIS PROPOSITION INCREASE MY TAXES?
No, this proposition will not affect tax rates. Home Rule will not create new or additional taxes, nor does it enable the city to spend beyond the revenues it receives.
- A Yes vote means…
A YES vote on this Proposition will continue the alternative expenditure limitation in Avondale for four years, allowing Avondale to provide services and improvements to the community based upon current available resources and service needs. Home Rule is not a means to increase tax rates or expenditures. It allows the City Council to make local decisions to spend revenues that are already being collected.
- A No vote means…
If voters do not approve this Proposition, the city will be subject to the projected state-imposed limit of $60.5 million (the expenditure base level set in 1979/80 adjusted annually for inflation and population growth). If Home Rule is not approved by the voters, either Avondale’s annual budget capacity would need to be reduced by approximately 50% in Fiscal Year 2021-2022, resulting in significant cutbacks in programs, services and capital projects or the City would be required to pay a penalty equal to $3.7 million.
- IMPORTANT DATES:
July 6, 2020 - LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO VOTE AT THIS ELECTION.
August 4, 2020 - ELECTION DATE
For questions, please contact the City Clerk at (623) 333-1200 or email CityClerk@avondaleaz.gov.
CONTACT THE CITY CLERK'S OFFICE: