Source: Maricopa County
With a new decade on the horizon, the nation’s fastest-growing county is making smart investments to further position itself as an attractive, long-term home for families and businesses. The Board of Supervisors approved a tentative $2.57B budget for fiscal year 2020.
“This fiscally responsible and sustainable budget keeps the tax rate steady for our residents while investing in the kinds of technology and infrastructure that works to serve citizens better,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, District 3. “These investments include strengthening public safety, improving the voter experience, preserving and enhancing our open space, and utilizing technology and process improvement to save money and make our county government more efficient while providing better service. I am grateful to my colleagues on the Board and to all departments for budgeting in a way that plans for, and protects, the future.”
With the 2020 elections fast approaching, the budget reserves funding for updated elections equipment that is expected to increase the speed with which votes can be counted. Improved technology is one piece of a larger discussion about the future of elections in Maricopa County.
Recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show Maricopa County added 81,244 people between July 2017 and July 2018, the most of any county in the nation. The FY 2020 budget allocates $296.9M for capital improvement projects which will modernize the infrastructure needed to support that growing population. Those projects include multi-million-dollar investments in county parks; a new East Valley animal shelter; and a new substation for the Sheriff’s Office in Avondale. The budget also provides continued funding for the new jail intake facility, Southeast Regional Justice Center, Central Court building, and 225 Madison renovation project, which will turn an old jail into modern, usable office space.
“I am proud to be part of the team that continues to pass budgets that protect our taxpayers while serving the needs of our ever-growing county population,” said Supervisor Jack Sellers, District 1. “This budget will assure the protection and well-being of our citizens. I’m pleased the tax rate won’t change nor is the county required to take on debt to fund operations.”
At a time when many other counties are taxing as much as they are allowed by state law, Maricopa County’s tax levy is $140.5M below the maximum.
The public will be able to comment on the tentative budget between now and the final vote which is scheduled for June 24.