Unless a voter commits the time to study the propositions, they become confusing, mired in facts and figures.
Even though there are only two on the ballot for next week's city election, they can be hard to understand.
Even though they are different in many ways, there are similarities too.
Both have state mandates, meaning the city of Tucson has little choice in the matter.
Starting with Prop 402, it's called Plan Tucson.
The state requires all cities and town to put together a plan for future growth. Tucson has been working on its plan for two years, has held nearly 70 public meetings and is now ready to ask for voter approval.
"It looks at areas like land use, transportation, historic preservation and economic development," says Lane Mandle, a public information specialist for the Tucson city manager's office. "It tries to set out policies for the future of our city."
That's it. Not too complicated.
However, 401 is a bit more confusing.
From the beginning.
All cities are limited in the amount of money they can spend.
It's set by a state imposed formula.
Any changes to the spending limit must be passed by the voters.
The last time the city asked for a change in spending limit was 1987.
"It will be just $50 million in revenue the city already collects," Mandle says. "It will not be an increase in fees or taxes."
The city has estimated it will take in more money in 2015 than it is now allowed to spend.
It wants the voters to give it permission to spend it.
If the city doesn't get that increase in revenues as predicted, then there is not money to spend.
This is just one of those, "just in case we get the money, we would like permission to use it" things.
If it does not get permission, it sits idle until it gets permission, if ever.
There is no written or organized opposition to either proposition but it will be a test of the voters confidence in the city to manage its money.
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