The recent survey the Arizona Progress & Gazette commissioned on Scottsdale politics and issues (including Monday’s results released on the 2024 Mayor’s race and Tuesday’s post on Axon’s efforts to add nearly 2,000 apartments to its previously approved plans) also provides a fascinating peak into the electorate’s mood when it comes to two key issues that may appear on the City’s November ballot. For supporters the news is mostly good.
One question before voters would allow the city to increase its spending limit beyond a bar the State of Arizona set for cities and towns back in 1980. Obviously, Scottsdale has grown a bit since then. The increase would allow Scottsdale to spend existing and future revenues on roads, public safety, and other essential government services and projects. According to the poll, support is 55.6% while opposition sits at 33.9%.
The poll asked:
* According to the state constitution, the maximum allowable spending for a city or town is set by the Arizona Auditor General’s office based on a formula set in 1980 and accounts for inflation. This formula leaves cities that have grown significantly since that time with far lower spending caps than much smaller, new communities like Queen Creek. The State Constitution allows voters to reset the spending cap at a higher level through something called a permanent base adjustment. This allows cities and towns to increase spending for public safety, programs, roads, and other functions of government. Scottsdale has not had a permanent base adjustment in more than 20 years. If this issue were to appear on your 2024 General Election ballot, would you support or oppose passing an increase in the permanent base adjustment?
The next item that may go before Scottsdale voters in November involves extending at a lower rate (likely .15 of a cent). The two tenths of a cent sales tax that was passed 30 years ago to help fund the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The extension would expand the scope of what the money could be used for to include improvements to public safety, the Indian Bend Wash, open space, parks, among other projects. When asked whether the sales tax should be allowed to expire or extended at a reduced rate, the numbers look quite good for the extension. 70.7% like support the extension at a reduced rate while 22% want the tax to expire.
The poll asked:
* Years ago, the city of Scottsdale passed a two-tenths of a cent sales tax to help fund the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. This tax is set to expire in the next few years. Some want to let the tax expire and lower the city sales tax while others want to continue the tax at a lower rate and use it to help fund public safety improvements, maintenance in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, improvements to the Indian Bend Wash and the preservation and acquisition of additional open space throughout the city. If this issue, known as the Protect & Preserve Initiative were to appear on your 2024 General Election ballot, would you vote to let the tax expire or reduce and extend the tax?
Tomorrow we will take a deeper dive into the comprehensive survey and how the numbers could shape decision making in the city as well as those who will be making those decisions.
Arizona-based Data Orbital conducted the survey of 350 likely Scottsdale voters from January 17th through the 19th. The pollster was the most accurate firm that polled Arizona political races in the 2020 presidential election cycle and is top rated by FiveThirtyEight.