Bonds are Better?? Is This The Best Argument Against Scottsdale’s Protect And Preserve Ballot Item?

Opponents of a measure that would fund parks and open spaces in Scottsdale as well as maintenance of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve have chosen a strange way to attack the plan. They say the money should come from bonds which are backed by property taxes.

The measure on the ballot would replace and reduce an expiring Scottsdale City sales tax.

Using bonds and increasing property taxes in Scottsdale doesn’t seem like a great idea when you consider that the majority of sales tax revenues in Scottsdale comes from people who don’t live in Scottsdale. This shifts the burden away from property owners. There is also a fairness issue. Tourists and visitors enjoy Scottsdale parks as well as the Preserve, shouldn’t they help fund those amenities?

The sales tax plan on the ballot won’t increase taxes. Issuing bonds would.

The “To Protect and To Preserve” proposition also includes legal guarantees that the funds would only be used for parks and the Preserve with citizen oversite, similar to any guardrails that would come with bonds.

So why would opponents such as Scottsdale City Council Candidate Adam Kwasman, who wants to ‘Preserve Scottsdale’s charm,’ insist that bonds would be better? Perhaps he feels Scottsdale residents should pay the entire tab rather than have visitors pay for amenities that they only occasionally use.

There is something to be said for keeping sales taxes low, but when you consider Scottsdale’s rate is lower than in Phoenix, and lower than most other Valley cities, that argument loses validity.

In addition to tourists, anyone who does business in Scottsdale or shops in Scottsdale contributes to sales tax revenue. It is a much broader base.

If south Scottsdale parks and the Preserve in the north need some funds to enhance the area’s quality of life, shouldn’t the money come from EVERONE who uses them?

Property owners in Scottsdale, thanks to robust property values, are already paying a premium to live in Scottsdale. They should not be the sole source of revenue for needed community improvements. Frankly, it’s shocking that Republicans like Kwasman, and others, are advocating for property tax hikes rather than reducing an existing sales tax. Politics can be bizarre, and this is yet another example.