In addition to the three town council seats and mayor's job up for grabs in the March 9, 2010 election, Oro Valley voters are being asked to renew a home-rule measure.

The home-rule option allows Arizona cities to set their own budget limits. Without it, local governments would be subject to budget standards set forth under state law.

In Oro Valley's case, not passing home rule would limit the town's spending considerably. The expenditure formula is based on a fiscal 1980 spending baseline.

The formula multiplies expenditures from the baseline year by population and inflation factors, then adds the total to estimated spending exclusions to determine what the state-imposed spending limit would be.

In Oro Valley's case, the fiscal 2010 budget would have been capped at $21.4 million, according to Oro Valley Finance Director Stacey Lemos.

For fiscal 2010, the town council passed a $121.5 million budget.

The option comes up for renewal every four years.

If voters don't approve the home-rule renewal, the town isn't prohibited from collecting taxes locally and through state-shared revenue, but would face spending limitations.

Budget estimates

The following spending estimates, in millions of dollars, were sent to voters in the 2006 election information packet. Actual spending was considerably higher.

Oro Valley Finance Director Stacey Lemos said the estimates did not include capital and infrastructure improvements at the time of the last home-rule election.

Fiscal year     estimate     actual

2007     $85.4     $105.9

2008     $85.1     $118.8

2009    $69.9     $203.1

2010     $69.3     $121.5

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