City council delays tax vote

YUMA, Ariz. – The city council voted to place a sales tax increase on the November ballot is on hold for now as the council amends the ordinance.

“The reason why we had to push it back is in discussions with different community groups, particularly the Chamber of Commerce, they suggested extending the moratorium of a future property tax increase from two years to three years,” says Mayor Doug Nicholls.

The amended changes would make it so Yuma property tax will not increase beyond the state’s “Truth and Taxation” levy for the next three years. Nicholls says the city now needs to inform the public of the changes before they council votes.

“So to accommodate that, we needed to make that change to the proposed ordinance and that would require us to provide additional notice and that’s just to protect the public. They know that the changes have been made and they have time to react. I don’t really see this as a change anyone’s going to be, ‘no no we want it the other way,’ so I think it’s going to move forward.”

The council says they have talked to local businesses and residents about the tax ordinance and say they have constructed the ordinance from the issues they heard, “There are some real issues we need to address and that’s where we’re trying to focus the discussion on those particular issues. That’s why the ordinance is crafted the way it is.”

The council will vote on the ordinance at the next city council meeting, which will be the first Wednesday in August.

Nicholls says they still want citizens to be the ones who decide if there should be a tax increase or not. “There’s been a strong desire in council to put it before the voters. The voters are the ultimate deciders whether the tax is a tax we want or not, not the council. The council just has a strong desire to make sure that the voters have that choice.”

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