We believe that an engaged and informed citizenry leads to significantly better outcomes for all of us.Regular readers know that we informed you about the public input conversations about our tourism plan. Well now you may have another chance, and this time it has to do with taxation.
You may be aware of a 0.2% sales tax that was enacted in order to help pay for land acquisition for the McDowell Mountain Preserve, Since that tax is set to expire in 2025, Council has decided to form a nine-person advisory task force in order to give input on the extension and use of that tax.
While the public input forums for commentary about our tourism plan were open to the public and purely conversational instead of task-based, this task force will be comprised of citizens appointed by the council. In a nod to the short-lived Scottsdale 3-2-1 campaign that Mayor Ortega spearheaded to attempt to implement a district system, council has tentatively agreed to have three members each from the northern, central, and southern areas of the city.
While there is little disagreement to the fact that the tax probably should be extended, there are currently some disagreements as to what it should be used on. A majority agree that it should be targeted and focused purely on park upkeep and maintenance, although Linda Milhaven expressed that she would like to see it be used as essentially part of the city budget.
While this will be an appointed body, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get involved, it likely just means that you need to know someone. If you are friendly with a current councilperson or the mayor, this is a good opportunity to reach out and volunteer yourself for this role. Especially if you reside in south or central Scottsdale, areas that are underrepresented in council and thus there will likely be less competition for these roles. We recommend that you reach out to them and let them know your interest.
Opportunities are there to influence your city; we will do our best to let you know about them, but ultimately the onus is on you to be proactive and get involved. Don’t let others decide your fate.