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Pima Supervisors delay budget to seek savings

Delay vote until July 2nd
Posted at 7:19 PM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 22:19:49-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - To try to hold off a tax hike, Pima County Supervisors Tuesday postponed a vote on their budget.

They've scheduled a new vote early next month to try to find a cheaper way to pay the county's bills.

The rocky roads of Pima County are a constant sore point for taxpayers.

Staffing and paying for law enforcement is a continuing concern---and so is the price of the property tax on your home that pays for most of the county budget.

Approving this year's budget was on the board's agenda, when Supervisors did a couple of unusual things.

They postponed a vote until July 2nd, and a majority sided with Republican District One Supervisor Allie Miller. She's often on the short side of three to two votes against the Democratic Majority.

But Supervisors voted for more time to see if they can come up with 10.6 Million dollars without an overall tax hike. Miller says a hot job market means the county's having trouble filling jobs, so those open slots could help hold off a tax hike.

“We have over 1100, open employee positions that are funded in the various departments in the budget, but have not been filled. And there's a potential there, if we froze the hiring for two to three months."

Miller says variations in home values could still mean some tax bills go up, but others could go down for a tax rate with no change on average.

Board Chairman Richard Elias was the one vote against the delay. He says it could delay important county projects and boost the burden on county workers.

“And I think that the attrition on our employees is ultimately going to happen naturally. And I think it's bad to move forward with placing further restrictions on hiring, because our staff has been beat up continually over the last 10 years. And we're continuing to do that. If we approve some of the discussions that happened today.”

The county would normally be using it's new budget by July 1st. The July 2nd vote is legal because state law allows the county to run on its existing budget until August.