TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The community of Vail took another step closer to becoming the town of Vail Tuesday night when the Tucson City Council unanimously voted in support of allowing the community to vote on becoming a town.
The Tucson council had to approve of the election because Vail is within six miles of Tucson city limits and could have been part of an annexation plan by the city. A website that details the process of Vail becoming a town points out that the community has been on the map for 120 years and has never been a town.
"We need the people to decide. If they vote against it the people have spoken and life goes on. If the people vote in favor of it then we've created history and we move forward," said Rob Samuelsen, member of Citizens for Vail, an independent committee that has been pursuing the incorporation election.
Much of Pima County remains unincorporated, which is a contrast to Maricopa County. As a result, Maricopa County receives a much larger amount of state shared revenue. That money, which is state taxes that are redistributed to communities, goes to incorporated areas.
"We need to equal up that playing field whether that comes from incorporation or annexation it doesn't matter. We just need to even out that playing field otherwise, we're gonna be on the short end of the stick," Ward 2 Tucson City Council member Paul Cunningham said.
If Vail incorporates as a town, it expects to receive more than $3 million in state shared revenues. Right now, it receives no such funds. The Tucson council supports the annexation because whether Vail is part of Tucson or is its own town, the funding will be a boost to the area.
"It brings more state shared revenue back to the area and the more of that we can see the better. I wish them well," Ward 4 Tucson City Council member Shirley Scott said.
"Vail incorporation is a win for Pima County," Cunningham said.
"A rising tide raises all ships so the more that we can be incorporated in Pima County the more we can compete for those state shared revenues that come out of Phoenix," Samuelsen said.
The incorporation website says that Vail has 11,500 residents. Originally, the goal has been to have the election in August 2013; however, that would have to be a special election. Samuelsen said that a November election might be more likely at this point.
Find more information, visit the Vail incorporation website at http://incorporatevail.org/.