The Pima County Board of Supervisors have approved a new policy which will repair all of the county’s roads in 10 years and fund other infrastructure projects.
On Nov. 5, the board unanimously approved the policy which will use the General Fund to pay for capital infrastructure projects in the county, including roads in unincorporated areas.
It is a policy similar to one already being utilized in Maricopa County, and will be used by the county administrator to craft a recommended budget each year.
The Pay-As-You-Go plan (PAYGO) will provide $10 million next fiscal year for road repair, along with an additional $16 million of Transportation Department funding. Several other county departments, like the wastewater department, already use PAYGO plans for their infrastructure needs.
The majority of PAYGO funds will be used for road repairs and will later primarily fund projects identified in the Integrated Infrastructure Plan.
Funding for PAYGO will come from a percentage of growth in the overall county tax base and from recapturing a portion of the taxes no longer needed to pay off bonds, while also reducing the combined county property tax rate over time.
The Board of Supervisors voted to apply 60 percent of the tax base increase to PAYGO when the county’s annual budget is being crafted. They are also directing the county administrator to reduce the primary tax rate to provide relief for the remaining 40 percent of growth in the tax base.
The county anticipates that the amount of money needed to pay off its bond debts will decline significantly in coming years, and so the tax rate needed to pay off debts can be reduced year-over-year, declining to zero in ten years.
“This PAYGO plan will provide us the funding to make sure our critical infrastructure is maintained and that we’re meeting the needs of a growing population, while at the same time providing tax relief to county taxpayers. It is a win-win plan that still gives the board the flexibility to determine funding priorities every year,” said County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry in a release.
To learn more about the PAYGO plan, see Huckleberry's memo to the board here.