Tucson voters will decide whether to give elected officials pay raises and how to fund schools. And voters in Vail will decide whether to form a new town.
Here’s what the ballot propositions mean.
Proposition 413: A yes vote would increase salaries for Tucson city council members and the mayor
Prop 413 would increase the annual salary of the mayor from $42,000 to 1.25 times the salary set for members of the Pima County Board of Supervisors.
It would increase council members’ annual salaries from $24,000 to the same salary set for members of the Pima County Board of Supervisors.
At current rates that would mean city council members would earn $76,600 per year and the mayor would earn $95,750 per year. Salaries will increase accordingly if Board of Supervisor salaries increase in the future.
The current salaries were set by voters in 1999 and the mayor and council haven’t had a pay raise since.
The Board of Supervisors salaries are set by the state legislature, and those salaries will go up in 2025 after many years of no raises.
The proposal was put forth by a citizens committee. See their report.
Arguments for a yes vote:
From the Tucson Metro Chamber: “Tucson City Council Members earn a meager $24,000 annually, equivalent to just $11.54 per hour, a shocking $2.31 less than the current minimum wage. Yet, Tucson is the 33rd largest city in America and each Council Member is charged with representing wards of approximately 90,000 people — a clearly full-time job. Fortunately, fixing this clear problem will not raise taxes or reduce City services. … The current salary levels for our City’s Mayor and Council lag significantly behind those of their counterparts in Arizona’s five other largest cities.”
Arguments for a no vote:
From Republican mayoral candidate Janet Wittenbraker: “Absent from the proposition are any accompanying requirements and restrictions, e.g., requirement to be full-time, not hold outside employment or paid board position, and/or incremental increases to be decided by Tucson voters. Furthermore, the commission does not identify a funding source for the proposed salary increase. It is not unreasonable to expect the Tucson Mayor and Council Members receive compensation commensurate with their duties; however, Proposition 413 is excessive and does not adequately balance the proposed salary increase with the needs of Tucsonans.”
Proposition 402: A yes vote would create the Town of Vail
Voters within the boundaries of the proposed Town of Vail will decide whether to incorporate as a town.
A yes vote will create the new Town of Vail, the boundaries of which run from about Sahuarita Road north to the Rincon Valley and from Houghton Road east to the Coronado National Forest. Only voters within these boundaries received a ballot on this initiative in the mail, though residents can also vote in person at three vote centers on Election Day.
Pima County currently provides services like transportation, law enforcement, roads and parks to this area, and if this proposition passes those would become the responsibility of the Town of Vail. The town would have its own mayor and town council, town manager and staff, and it would receive its share of state revenue. The town could also set its own sales taxes and impact fees as a way to generate revenue.
The last time incorporation was up for a vote in Vail in 2013, it failed.
School bond and override elections
Check which school district you live in. Only voters in these school districts will see the proposition for their school district on their ballots.
Proposition 496: TUSD
Voters are being asked to approve a $480 million bond for Tucson Unified School District school improvements. The district says it will use the money to update aging schools with old roofs, plumbing and air conditioning systems. It will also add security and safety systems, buy school buses and technology for students.
Cost to TUSD property owners: For homes with an assessed value of $100,000, the cost would be $68.78 annually or $5.73 monthly.
Proposition 498: Sunnyside
A yes vote will give the Sunnyside Unified School District authorization to exceed its maintenance and operation budget limit by 8%. The district says the money will be used to maintain existing programs and set competitive teacher salaries.
Cost to Sunnyside property owners: For homes with an assessed value of $100,210 (the average value of a home in the district) the yearly cost would be approximately $136.
Proposition 499: Sunnyside
The Sunnyside Unified School District is also asking for voters to approve a District Additional Assistance budget override. A yes vote would increase the 2024/2025 budget by an estimated $7 million to fund capital improvements in the district including renovations of old buildings, classroom technology and new buses.
Cost to Sunnyside property owners: For homes with an assessed value of $100,210 (the average value of a home in the district) the yearly cost would be approximately $118.14.
Proposition 497: Flowing Wells
The Flowing Wells Unified School District is asking voters to approve a 3% increase to its existing 10% maintenance and operation budget override for a 13% override — an estimated $4,771,102 in 2024/2025. The district says the money will be used to establish K-12 engineering classes and maintain current funding for full-day kindergarten, electives, arts and sports.
Cost to Flowing Wells property owners: For homes with an assessed value of $127,280 (the average value of a home in the district) the yearly cost would be approximately $260.
Proposition 401: Sahuarita
The Sahuarita Unified School District is asking voters to approve $50 million in general obligation bonds for school improvements including upgrades to security systems, renovations, construction of new facilities and technology.
Cost to Sunnyside property owners: For homes with an assessed value of $100,000 the yearly cost would be approximately $81.
Altar Valley proposition
The Altar Valley Elementary School District is asking residents to approve the continuation of a 10% maintenance and operation budget override — an estimated $520,584 in 2024/2025.
Cost to Altar Valley property owners: The estimated cost to an owner of a home with a limited property value of $71,440 (the average value of a home in the district) would be approximately $63 per year.