The New River-Desert Hills Budget Proposal: How to Fund a New Town

For 15 years, In&Out Magazine has been the definitive source of “Everything that’s going on” in and out of the community. We thank you, our readers, as well as the businesses that support the magazine through advertising, for that opportunity. But with little going on, and many businesses suspending or canceling their ads during the Covid-19 crisis, we are suspending publication of the magazine and web sites for the month of May. 


While new taxes might be needed for a new town, there’s a case to be made for starting out by relying on other funding options.

Patricia Walker, a private consultant to municipalities, told those in attendance at an Aug. 29 public meeting about incorporating New River and Desert Hills into a town that it’s possible to fund required operations mostly with “state-shared revenue,” money the state otherwise would give to the county.

When a town incorporates, the state diverts a percentage of those revenues from the county to the new town.

The New River–Desert Hills Incorporation Committee contracted Walker, former CFO for the City of Chandler, to provide a preliminary budget analysis for the proposed town. Walker was paid $1,000 for her analysis and presentation.

Using a population figure provided by the incorporation committee—14,952—and standard formulas for state revenue sharing, Walker suggested no local taxes would be required for the town to function.

“You don’t need it at this point,” she said, adding that if the town wished services beyond the minimum, it could collect local sales or property taxes, if a majority of residents vote to do so.

Insufficient Funds?

Some residents question if the budget is adequate to manage a new town. Specifically, they wonder whether the $1.2 million for road maintenance is sufficient—the county was not consulted on the number of road-miles behind those calculations.

Laurie Ricci, one of the founders of the incorporation committee, said a “public works person” who wishes to remain anonymous assisted with the estimates.

Comparing this potential new town to others that are more developed—particularly with more retail and commercial businesses—may be apples to oranges, yet towns with similar and even smaller populations have much larger budgets.

But most towns had much smaller budgets when they first incorporated, said Tom Belshe, deputy director of the Arizona League of Cities and Towns. And, Belshe said, there’s no precedent for a town not surviving financially. Since Arizona became a state in 1912, no town or city has ever filed bankruptcy, Belshe said.

Some locals are not convinced.

“From what I see, they are not showing sufficient funds to move forward,” said Alan Muller, past president of the New River/Desert Hills Community Association, an advisory group.

All this suggests voters would likely be asked to enact a sales tax—as every other Arizona town has done—sometime after incorporation.

“A sales tax would most likely be imposed,” said Steve Scharboneau Jr., one of the incorporation committee founders, in a Facebook post.

RELATED: Talk of the Town: New River-Desert Hills Incorporation Proposal


 


Help Save Our Community
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and even more so this community. Supporting local businesses during this crisis can help keep our community economically viable. Please strongly consider supporting the businesses below, In&Out Magazine's display advertisers, as well as those in the Classifieds section of the magazine (see the full April 9 issue in PDF form). Many of these businesses have been part of the fabric of this community for two decades, not just serving our professional, service and retail needs but stepping up to support local charities, sports teams and so much more. Tip: If you know you’ll need to schedule a service, consider contacting a local business you trust and paying the standard fee for the deferred service. The links below go to their web sites.

Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates • 602-242-4592
Anthem Senior Living • 602-909-9550
Appliance Pros • 502-501-5501
Business Network of Anthem • 623-455-9630
Carroll Law Firm • 623-551-9366
Century 21 Real Estate - Jeff Huff • 623-223-1221
Creative Home Enhancements • 623-551-5409
Daisy Dream Homes Real Estate • 623-879-3277
Daisy Mountain Dentistry • 623-551-5250
Desert Foothills Air Conditioning • 480-595-0938
Edward Jones • 623-551-0523
Element Dental Centers • 623-551-5555
Hand & Stone Massage • 623-551-6602
Kendallwood Design • 602-252-3844
Kodiak Roofing • 602-501-7717
Luv My PC • 480-703-6609
Merrill Gardens • 623-201-4881
North Valley Water Solutions • 623-551-0515
Preferred Business of Anthem • 623-551-0523 
Prickett Realty • 623-551-8111
ProSkill Services • 623-551-7473
RE/MAX Professionals - Mike Higgins • 623-640-7502
Rise Above Remodeling • 623-551-2013
Soft Water Plus • 623-551-7383
SonoranScapes Landscaping • 602-842-9948
State Farm Insurance - Justin Simons • 623-551-3700
Storage at Anthem • 623-226-8634
Sunset Cabinets • 623-687-6579
Thompson & McGinnis Attorneys at Law • 602-952-2666
Titan Tree Care • 623-444-8448
Titan Pest Control • 623-879-8700
Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical • 623-551-6688

For more local businesses, see In&Out Magazine Classifed Ads >>>  
 
Robert Roy Britt
NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.
Robert Roy Britt on Email

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.

npneditor has 531 posts and counting.See all posts by npneditor