UPDATE (Nov. 16, 2018): According to the final election results posted by the Yavapai County Elections Department, Proposition 445 failed to pass, with 604 Yes votes and 1,365 No votes. The Clarkdale Town Council met in a Strategic Planning worksession on November 8, 2018 and listed the development of a Sustainable Streets Preservation and Maintenance Program as one of their top priorities for 2019. Town staff is expected to begin developing options for prioritizing the limited number of road improvements that can be undertaken with current revenue streams, and exploring new funding options in order to add projects in the future. Discussions of those options with the Town Council are expected to begin in the 1st quarter of 2019.
FUNDING FOR STREET REPAIR AND IMPROVEMENTS IN CLARKDALE TO BE DETERMINED AT NOVEMBER 6, 2018 ELECTIONAc - At the recommendation of an 8-member committee made up of Clarkdale citizens, the Clarkdale Town Council has placed Proposition 445 (Prop. 445) on the November 6, 2018 General Election Ballot.
WHAT IS PROPOSITION 445? Prop. 445 asks Clarkdale voters to decide if the Town of Clarkdale should incur a maximum of $6.o million in debt through the issuance and sale of bonds to provide funds for street repair and improvements and the ongoing preservation of streets within the Town limits.
HOW WAS THE FUNDING LEVEL DETERMINED? In 2017, the Town of Clarkdale hired a consulting engineer to evaluate the condition of the public roads in Clarkdale and make recommendations about repairing and improving the roads. The estimated costs to repair and improve roads in Clarkdale ranged from $5.3 - $14.7 million, and varied depending on the construction methods selected for repairs and improvements. The Town staff, Citizens Committee and Town Council reviewed the recommendations of the consulting engineer, and selected a repair and improvement strategy that resulted in a $6.o million project budget.
WHICH ROADS WILL BE IMPROVED AS PART OF THIS PROGRAM? The main arterial and collector roads in Clarkdale (Black Hills Drive, Old Jerome Highway, Lisa Street, Main Street, Broadway, Centerville Road, Palisades Drive, and Clarkdale Parkway), along with many other roads, are included in this proposal. Highway 89A, which is owned and operated by the State of Arizona, is not included as all costs associated with the repair and improvement of 89A are the responsibility of the Arizona Department of Transportation. If voters approve the bond, all the roads and streets shown in yellow and green on this map will be repaired or improved over a period of three years, beginning in 2019.
HOW WILL THE BONDS BE PAID BACK? With voter approval, the debt would be issued as General Obligation Bonds of the Town, and would be paid back through a secondary (ad valorem) property tax which would be levied upon all of the taxable property in the Town.
HOW WOULD PROPERTY TAX BILLS BE IMPACTED? If voters approve the issuance of these bonds, it will result in a property tax increase sufficient to pay the annual debt service on the bonds. The impact to an individual property would be dependent on the Assessor's value for tax purposes of the property in question, at the estimated rate of $2.21 per $100 of assessed value.
WHY WASN'T A SALES TAX (ALSO KNOW AS THE "TRANSACTION PRIVILEGE TAX") CONSIDERED INSTEAD OF A PROPERTY TAX? The Citizen's Committee and the Clarkdale Town Council did consider an increase in our Sales Tax as an alternative. That alternative was not selected because Clarkdale does not have the capacity to raise the required amount of funding through an increase in the sales tax. The Town of Clarkdale has minimal transactions that are subject to sales tax because we have a minimal number of retail establishments. Because of the limited number of transaction that are currently subject to sale tax in Clarkdale, the most that could be raised by increasing Clarkdale's Sales Tax by 1% (which would take the Sales Tax from 3% to 4%) was $2.0 million. This scenario would have resulted in the need to cut 2/3 of the proposed road improvements from the plan, and was determined to not adequately meet the need for improving and repairing the roads in Clarkdale.
Please note, the Assessor's value for tax purposes is the value of your property as it appears on your tax bill and does not necessarily represent the market value of your property. To find the Assessor's value for tax purposes for your property (shown as "Net Assessed" on your 2018 bill), reference your most recent tax bill from the Yavapai County Treasurer's Office (see this Sample Property Tax Statement as an example). Follow these links to see graphs of the estimated average cost to taxpayers on Residential Property or on Commercial/Agricultural Property.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO PAY BACK THE BONDS? Following their issuance, the bonds will have a 10-year maturity. After that time, they will be paid in full and the Secondary Property Tax will expire.
WHY DOESN'T THE TOWN OF CLARKDALE HAVE THE FUNDS TO MAINTAIN OUR ROADS? There are four primary factors that have impacted funding for roads in Clarkdale. In fact, the issues that Clarkdale faces are not unique to our community ... cities, towns counties and states across the nation face similar issues.
Arizona Legislature Road Funding Sweeps - In Arizona, our State Legislature collects gas taxes and other transportation fees statewide and is supposed to share those funds with cities, towns and counties to fund road improvements. The State Legislature has swept $1 billion from those funds in the past 10 years and used it elsewhere in the State budget.
Declining Gas Tax Purchasing Power - The United States federal excise tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon (24.4 cents on diesel) and has not been increased since 1997. In Arizona, the excise tax on gasoline is 18 cents (26 cents on diesel) and has not been increased since 1991. Considering inflation and increasing construction costs, for Arizona's gas tax to have the same purchasing power today as in 1991, it would need to be approximately double the existing rate.
Unprecedented Economic Downturn/The Great Recession - State and local governments were a prominent casualty of the Great Recession, and Arizona was one of the hardest hit states. Faced with significant revenue declines, Clarkdale made deep spending cuts, drew down cash reserves, and had to defer maintenance and capital improvements. We also had to utilize our local sales tax collections to sustain our general operations, which reduced the use of a portion of those funds to support our road projects.
More Efficient Vehicles - Between 1990 and 2012, passenger vehicle mileage improved by 46%. In 2013, Arizonans drove 71% more miles than in 1990, yet they only bought 52% more gas; that results in more road wear but less revenue per mile driven.
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION? In addition to this website, the Town of Clarkdale will mail a Notice of Election and informational pamphlet to all registered voters in the Town of Clarkdale in October, 2018. The pamphlet will include information about Prop. 445, as well as arguments for and against the authorization of the issuance of the bonds.
The Town will also host a series of information meetings in September and October, 2018. Follow this link for a list of meeting dates and times.
You may also contact the following Clarkdale Town Staff members with questions:
Public Works/Utilities Director Maher Hazine
Email or Phone at (928) 639-2525
Town Manager Gayle Mabery
Email or Phone at (928) 639-2415.