Paradise Valley to increase state-imposed expenditure limitation

Voters in the Town of Paradise Valley are in strong favor of increasing the town’s base expenditure limit by about $3.5 million.

About 65 percent of the votes went in favor of Prop. 499, increasing the base expenditure limit, unofficial results available at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office show.

Dawn-Marie Buckland

Dawn-Marie Buckland

“We’re excited to continue moving forward with some of the great initiatives that we have here in the town and be able to provide the local government that the residents here have asked for,” Dawn-Marie Buckland, Paradise Valley director of administration and government affairs, said during a Nov. 9 phone interview.

According to the town’s publicity pamphlet, the town will add $3.5 million to its base expenditure limit, which is based in the 1979-80 fiscal year. As a result of population growth and inflation, the increase in the base expenditure limit would increase the town’s budget by $14 million, bringing the town’s budget to about $40 million.

Ms. Buckland said the town brings in a large amount of revenue from resorts, but those resorts don’t contribute to the population increase, which is a factor in Paradise Valley’s expenditure limit.

As a result, the town cannot spend all of the revenue it gets from these resorts. The proposition’s approval changes that, Ms. Buckland said.

“It’s not a tax increase, it does not increase any debt ceilings,” She said. “It just gives us the legal authority to spend those revenues.”

With that increase, the publicity pamphlet states the town will use “the additional expenditure authority for any local budgetary purposes including police, fire, wastewater, alarm services, public works, community development, courts, attorneys and administration.”

More specifically, Ms. Buckland said the main goal in the expenditure limit increase was to pay down the town’s unfunded liability of public safety pensions. The town recently adopted a three-year plan to pay off its $18 million in unfunded liability.

Additionally, Ms. Buckland said the town will make an effort to host public meetings, study sessions and works sessions open to the public in order to maintain transparency in the town’s budget process.

“The budget for next year and for every year, just as before, will continue to be that public process with council approval before we make any additional expenditures next year,” she said.

All in all, Ms. Buckland said she is excited the voters passed the proposition because now the city doesn’t have to pay for its ongoing projects with debt financing, it can pay for them up front.

“This community is very responsible when it comes to financial management,” Ms. Buckland said. “This allows us to really maximize that financial management. We are a triple A community for a reason and it’s because we like to make the right decisions each and every time.”

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