Mesa voters passed 4-6 question on the Nov. 6 Mid-term elections
The question Mesa residents were tasked with were, Home Rule, a Public Safety Sales Tax, Public Safety Bond, Parks and Culture Bond, Section 613 of Mesa City Charter, and Transient Lodging (Bed) Tax. Voters passed the first four questions and rejected the last two.
Question 1: Home rule, gives the city the ability to dictate how they allocate their funds around the city, a balanced budget.
This rule has been in effect since the 2000/01 fiscal year and will be effective until 2022/23 due to the passage of the question. If voters had not passed the question the city would be subject to 1979/80 fiscal year budget.
“The money that we have taken in, in revenue… we wouldn’t be able to sustain, as a city, under those conditions, under 1980 levels”, said District 6 Councilman, Kevin Thompson. “Mesa would have had to cut roughly $200 million a year from our budget.”
Question 2: The Public Safety Sales Tax increases the retail sales tax by a quarter percent, increasing the total tax to 2 percent and creates $25 million, annually.
The new sales tax increase creates 65 new Police Department positions and related expenses costing $15 million. Fire and Medical will receive $10 million and 45 positions and related expenses.
Question 3: Public Safety Bond created $85 million in specific capital costs relating to protecting the public. Parts of the city will be building new fire stations and police buildings with these funds.
“Councilmember Luna is getting a new police station,” Councilman Thompson said. “We’re going to have another fire station that’s going to be built out in Eastmark”.
Eastmark is the community being built in the east valley on the old GM Proving Grounds. In total, two police stations will be built, costing $35 million and fire stations, $41.8 million.
Question 4: Parks and Culture Bond creates $111 million in capital for city of Mesa. The bonds issuance costs the city $300,000. Athletic fields receive $61.2 million. Park amenities, $9.1 million. City paths, $12.4 million. Finally, Cultural establishments receive $28 million.
Question 5 about the Mesa City Charter did not garner voter approval.
Question 6 was directly related to Question 5 in raising the tax on people coming into the valley to visit that stay in hotels, bed tax.