Tucson aims to expand its limits near the auto mall - Tucson News Now

Tucson aims to expand its limits near the auto mall

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

"No city sales tax" is a selling point for some car dealers along Wetmore Road near the auto mall.  Tucson city limits are just on the other side of the street from some of them.  The savings can be worth hundreds of dollars when someone buys a new car.  But Tucson city council seeks more revenue and more support from the state.  The businesses and residents in the 48 acres that the council wants to annex will help.

A major argument is that incorporated areas receive tax money back from the state.  If Tucson expands, it gets more of that money back.  If other towns in the area expand, they'll get more of that money.  Whether Tucson expands or other areas such as Vail incorporate, more state tax money will come back to the area for improvements.

Also, the four car dealers, bank, medical offices, and the residences that would be annexed are estimated to add another $19 million in revenue over ten years for the city.  Tucson argues that its services are worth the more than two percent increase in sales tax charged.  Currently, the area is served by Northwest Fire District.  Once incorporated, property taxes will no longer be charged by that district because Tucson Fire Department will serve the area.  The city considers those savings for the residents to be significant.

But one woman wasn't so sure Tuesday night.  Phoebe Robinson said that she lives in the area, and that she has had difficulty getting straight answers on just how better off she will be by becoming a Tucson resident.

"They're just into growth without any consideration as to what they actually need or the impact on the residents," she said.

But Karin Uhlich, councilwoman for Ward 3 of the Tucson City Council, said that incorporation helps residents.

"The more we can bring either areas into an existing city or to incorporate as Vail is proposing, the more state-shared revenue our region will get," she said.

The council approved proceeding with annexation.  The city has a year to approach all of the property owners for their signature.  It needs both more than half of the owners and owners representing more than half of the real estate value for the annexation to succeed.  Any signature that the city does not gather will count as a vote against annexation.

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