A couple of years ago, Supervisor Ally Miller conducted a 30 day challenge to find money to maintain our roads from existing expenditures – without raising our taxes. She found over 1.1 Billion dollars which could have been used to maintain the roads. Pima county is already the highest taxed county in the state, we don’t need more taxes – we need to set proper priorities and listen to the residents. (Read her original post here or reformatted version below.)

Supervisor Ally Miller’s 30 Day Challenge To Find Road Money

  • Where did all this money go?
  • How many repairs could have been done if we had dedicated even half of this funding to our roads?
  • Total HURF & VLT Funds received for the past 10 years = $770,123,500.32​​
  • Total HURF & VLT Funds $770,123,500.32 less $84 million reported on Day 1
  • Adjusted HURF & VLT Funds received for past 10 years = $686,123,500.32​

It is estimated that we need $400 million to fix our local roads.  The newly appointed, but probably soon to be disbanded, Property Tax Advisory Committee suggests we will need in excess of $1 billion when combined with road repair needs of the City of Tucson.  County Administrator Huckelberry says,  “our only option is to act on our own to raise revenues for pavement preservation and road repair.”  My response is:

DAY                           DESCRIPTION                                                         AMOUNT
1HURF and VLT – 2016 State Shared Revenue$85,000,000
2World View “Balloon” Enterprises and SpacePort$17,179,000
3Rocking K CFD (Arterial Road) for Diamond Ventures Development$15,000,000
4Kino South Sports Complex (Completion: 3/11/2020)$18,600,000
5Old Courthouse Renovations ​(voters said “NO” to this purpose)$25,000,000
6American Airlines Bailout $100,000
7Kino South Sports Complex:  Soccer fields (principal)​(County appraised value – $8,380,000)$8,750,000
8Kino South Sports Complex:  Soccer fields (interest)$1,308,874
9County Photovoltaic Energy Facilities$36,091,000
10Accelerate Diagnostics (a “start-up” company who conducted a Public Offering in December 2015 raising $109 million, but still receiving benefits as a “start-up” company)$1,874,372
11The Loop: a 131 mile infrastructure project which ranked higher than road pavement preservation$70,000,000
12St. Demetrius (purchase of church land)$950,000
13Wastewater Facility (Dodge Road)$1,000,000
14State Highway Fund – Special Distribution (released 10/18/17)$3,185,200
15Arizona Bowl Sponsorship (why not funded from Visit Tucson who received $3.766 million from Pima County Bed-Tax revenue?)$40,000
16Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO) / Sun Corridor contract (12 contracts plus amendments) – Note: Private employment reported down by 2,400 from last year$9,444,403
17University of Arizona (dba Arizona Board of Regents) for continued funding in support of operations of the hospital at Banner-University Medical Center and UA College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Program (annual allocation)$15,000,000
18Downtown Court Complex (Bond package listed for $76 million / Actual expenses = $141,276,344 which means $61,872,366 over budget)$61,872,366
19Pima County Fleet Services Building (1291 S. Mission Road Complex – Budget = $14 million / Actual expenses = $18 million)$4,000,000
20Painted Hills land purchase ($7.5 million = $3 million Open Space funds plus $4.5 million from General fund)$7,500,000
21Water Distribution Service (desert water stations):  15 contracts issued from 6/5/2001 thru 7/1/2017.  Funding source for years 2008-2014 and 2016 = Pima County Community Economic Development / General Funds$358,000
22Master Agreement for Furniture– to furnish new or remodeled county facilities and replace aging furniture.  One year contract with four (4) one year renewal options ($3,500,000 x 5 = $17.5 million) – Do we really need $17.5 million of furniture when roads are in such a state of repair?  Funding source:  General Fund$17,500,000
23JobPath:  June 20, 2017 – Supervisors were asked to approve an Outside Agency funding recommendation in the amount of $500,000 (no contract was provided); June 20, 2017 – Chair Bronson signed Contract CT-ED-18-004 for $600,000 which is $100,000 more than the contract approved by the Supervisors on the same day of June 20, 2017; Funding Source:  General Funds$100,000
24Barker Contracting (pending approval):  Agenda Item #9 Board meeting 11/7/17 – to provide for Pima County Historic Courthouse infrastructure; transfer out of the General Fund; total program budget: $8.5 million; Supervisors Miller and Christy object; Supervisor Valadez offers substitute motion to continue the item$850,679
25United Way (Employee Combined Appeal Program Campaigns):  Four (4) contracts from 2014-2017 totaling $233,910.23 paid for with General Funds.  Supervisors Miller and Christy voted in opposition to the 2017 contract approved by the Board.  Read the full story ….$233,910.23
26The Celebration of the $70 million dollar “LOOP” … these funds are designated for “Promotional Items$50,000
27 Kino South Sports Bridge Installation (yes, that’s right!) … read the memo dated Sept. 25, 2017 re: Kino South Sports Complex-Alternatives to Accelerate Project.  Despite voters saying “NO” in the 2015 Bond Election, the “County” decided to move forward with this portion of the project on July 10, 2017.  Increase in Master Agreement for $1.5 mil … read the fine print on page 3 of the memo$1,500,000
28Annual Maintenance Costs for “The Loop … annual cost estimate is $30,000 per mile x 131 miles completed = $3,930,000 per year.  Funding source:  Flood Control District (Flood Control reimburses Parks & Recreation for providing maintenance of the Loop).  Flood Control District funds are derived from your Secondary Property Tax!  It’s not about the benefits of the Loop; it’s about the lack of basic core services like “safe” roads which are critical for the community, economic development, law enforcement and emergency services, among others.  Core road improvement services were needed long before the start of the Loop in 2005.  It’s not about needing more taxes, it’s about spending priorities.  Maintenance costs for the Loop for the next five years will be$19,650,000
29 Road Repairs: The Cost of Not Having Your Voice Heard …  Sales tax, property tax, and road repairs.  On November 29, 2017, Interim Transportation Department Director Olivares issued a memo re local road repair recommendations.  Staff recommendations for District 1 road repairs did not take into consideration the recommendations proposed by District 1 Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) reps Chris DeSimone and Reggie Drout.  Example:  Hidden Valley subdivisions were excluded from county staff recommendation list.  District 1 TAC reps objected and responded, “We proposed adding Hidden Valley to the road repair list.  Our modifications to the list were ignored by a 7:6 vote from committee members not even involved with District 1 roads.”  Hidden Valley residents read here.  Why bother leading the public to think they have a say in their roads if this was virtually a “done deal” using a pre-determined prioritization model?  Read the full document.  Estimated costs for 17 committee/community meetings held and 12 upcoming sales tax meetings, document preparation, printing costs for meeting materials, etc.$25,000
30Want to know how much HURF and VLT money Pima County has received for our roads during the period 2008-2017?  Think about this as you drive over our roads, trying to avoid potholes, and being asked to pay more taxes:$686,123,500.32​
Total Amount Identified$1,108,236,304.55​

Yes, that is 1.1 Billon dollars Supervisor Miller found in 30 days to fund road maintenance and repair.