The great enemy of communication, we find, is the illusion of it. We have talked enough; but we have not listened.
William H Whyte
Some Incorporate Vail Arizona (IVA) committee members have voiced, “some people just won’t listen” about those who question them, eliminating a need for IVA to hear and understand why some people are not in support. It’s insulting to imply we cannot understand the complexities, background and nuances the “experts” have presented.
Annexation is imminent and Tucson will “approve” incorporation is an emotional argument not supported by fact. Annexation requires the agreement of the property owners in the area being considered; incorporation needs to request Tucson’s approval.
Major funding will come to the community which currently goes only to cities.. They’ve implied that State Shared Revenue funds go only to municipalities, ignoring that Pima County receives substantial funding from these same sources with one exception, Urban Revenue Sharing (URS).
IVA’s feasibility study, dated 12/1/22 was not available to the public until much later. It isn’t clear that in real life terms the proposed funding will cover expenses without extensive new development to raise taxes – this study should have been available during their early campaign. Most services, except the expense of establishing a new government, will be contracted back to Pima County.
Incorporation will bring more local control with a government closer to the people. A city is not an isolated entity. Vail would still need to coordinate and cooperate with Pima County, the City of Tucson and the State of Arizona. Electing a city council turns over local advocacy to the council with no guarantee they will be effective.
Local control provides improved services. Currently most services are provided by a combination of Pima County, City of Tucson, regional districts (fire, school, transportation) and private companies (water, garbage). Most required services would be contracted back to Pima County. We would continue to pay property taxes for county and regional services and pay private services.
Law Enforcement estimates in IVA’s proposed Proforma(sic) Budget estimate of 9-10 Law Enforcement Units (LEUs) appears to be in line with current and usual staffing but has been promoted at presentations as a doubling of deputies in the area.
Vail’s identity? Green Valley has remained unincorporated using a citizen volunteer council to address local issues with Pima County with no loss of identity. The proposed area of interest for Vail includes areas south of I-10 which have traditionally identified with Corona de Tucson but does not include Rincon Valley areas traditionally thought of as part of Vail.
Loss of services. The IVA proposal does not address the loss of some currently provided county services which are not included when contracted. One exclusion is environmental protections which are part of the County’s planning and development program.
Who actually benefits from incorporation? Incorporation strongly favors developers as a new municipality cannot thrive without development. Without an expanded commercial tax base, homeowners will be more heavily taxed or face reduction in services.
What does incorporation add? So far, none of IVA’s appeals provide tangible benefits or advantages to the homeowners of the Vail-Rincon Valley area. Incorporation will add another layer of government, local regulations and additional taxes including local sales taxes, utility taxes and new business license fees and the possibility of local property tax. While new taxes might require a vote to establish, no new town or city has been able to succeed without them.
Vail residents understand that “progress” is inevitable. However, the IVA group’s unwillingness to consider their questions has made many hesitant to accept their path.
By Inform Vail Arizona