County will use surplus funds to build new sports complex Kino S - Tucson News Now

County will use surplus funds to build new sports complex Kino South

(Source: Buffer/Pablo) (Source: Buffer/Pablo)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Pima County will stop collecting an RV tax in January that it imposed 20 years ago to help pay for the Kino Sports complex, specifically the baseball facilities.

The county will make its final $2 million payment on the stadium in December, 2017 which means the tax can no longer be assessed.

The county assessed the 50 cent a night tax under a state law that was repealed in 2000, but the county was allowed to continue collecting the tax until the bond was satisfied.

When the tax was passed by the County Board of Supervisors, it created a great deal of push back from the tourism industry, especially the RV parks.

The county was caught off guard by the controversy it created.

"Given the amount of money that was involved, I was surprised," said District 3 Supervisor Sharon Bronson, who was on the board when the tax was passed. "Because it was 50 cents and that seemed not exactly a huge amount."

But it was not the amount of tax, it was more the principle according to some like full time RV-er Frank Rodriquez of El Paso, Texas.

"Some states have state tax and then they pay federal tax and then if they're paying another tax on top of that, enough is enough," he said.

He lives and works at the KOA campground at 5151 South Country Club, for the time being, and hears complaints from those on the road.

One of those is about what they believe are unnecessary taxes aimed at them.

"A lot of those who are full timers, they don't like paying taxes or numerous taxes," he said. "So something like the repeal is a good idea."

Now that the county has nearly $3 million a year that it's not spending on the stadium, it will use the funds for a new soccer complex called Kino South, which is just west of the Kino Sports complex on Interstate 10.

It is scheduled to begin construction on the first phase in the spring. The cost will be $17 million and includes 10 to 12 lighted soccer fields, restrooms, parking and other amenities.

When completed, the site will also include a soccer stadium, which will make it eligible to hold national and international soccer tournaments.

Bronson said "in the end it benefits the taxpayers."

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