The Pima County Board of Supervisors passed a $1.431 billion budget for the 2010-'11 fiscal year that begins July 1.

The budget passed June 15 by a 3-2 vote, with supervisors Sharon Bronson, Richard Elias and Ramon Valadez voting in favor, and Ann Day and Ray Carroll opposed.

The approved budget includes increased taxes, with primary and secondary property rates combined to total $4.96 per $100 assessed value. Increases were made to the library district and debt service secondary property taxes.

The new tax rates represent a nearly 9-cent increase over current rates.

The approved budget includes $489.8 million in general fund spending, the area that funds most governmental operations.

The budget assumes the county's general fund would take in $22 million more than it expends. The surplus would be put into a property tax stabilization fund. That money would be reserved to avoid primary tax rate increases in the event property values continue to fall, thereby decreasing the amount of cash the tax generates.

Objecting to the spending plan, Day and Carroll presented the board with a joint statement and alternative budget outlining their opposition.

"Sometimes we think that the county budget is deliberately made confusing, to make it more difficult for the citizens, and even members of the Board of Supervisors, to clearly track the expenditures," Day and Carroll wrote.

The pair wanted the board to provide taxpayers some relief through a 10 percent spending cut, and in lowering or not raising taxes.

Carroll and Day noted the county is expected to close the current fiscal year with more than $487 million in budget surpluses, $51.8 million of that in the general fund.

Supervisor Elias was suspect of the alternate proposal.

"I think it's interesting that we got this budget proposal two minutes before we're going to vote on it," Elias said.

He congratulated County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry on the adopted budget, saying the plan would save taxpayers money.



County budget at a glance


$1.43 billion             total budget

$489.86 million        general fund

$145.31 million        wastewater management

$134.84 million        sheriff's department

$57.19 million          community and economicdevelopment

$44.13 million          superior court

$36.52 million          public works budget

$34.81 million          library district

$32.03 million          juvenile court

$30.70 million          county attorney

$9.91 million            environmental quality


Source: Pima County


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