In 1972, mayors from all over Arizona struck a deal with leaders at the state Capitol that helped our economy grow, kept taxes simple and helped create the strong cities and towns we have today. In that deal, approved by Arizona voters, cities agreed never to adopt a separate income, luxury or “sin” tax and in exchange, the state would provide 15% of state income taxes to Arizona’s cities and towns. Today those funds account for a majority of our local public safety budgets; it’s a great deal for taxpayers and a great deal for public safety.

Unfortunately, the governor and legislative leadership are now actively trying to break that deal with Arizona cities. Thankfully, we have state Rep. David Cook representing us in the Arizona Legislature. He is one of a handful of brave legislators with enough courage to stand up to the power brokers at the Capitol in Phoenix. Rep. Cook is forcefully speaking out about the destructive impact the proposed tax cut will have on our rural communities and he is fighting to protect us.

The tax cut proposal being advanced by the governor and legislative leadership would reduce funding to local governments by $285 million annually, forever. Our respective municipalities’ annual losses and the corresponding percentage budget cuts: Casa Grande is $3 million (-6.57%); Coolidge is $650,000 (-6.89%); Eloy is $964,807 (-8.10%); Florence is $1.3 million (-11.57%); Globe is $361,000 (-3.84%); Hayden is $73.743 (-2.9%); Kearny is $106,584 (-7.72%); Miami is $87,509 (-6.6%); and Superior is $156,237 (-6.27%). Simply put, our rural communities cannot absorb annual revenue reductions of this magnitude without impacting the delivery of critical services to our residents.

This state shared revenue is the fundamental backbone of local government funding and is critical if we are to maintain our current level of public safety protection and municipal services. Equally important, Rep. Cook joins us in supporting policies that address our water challenges in Pinal County. Securing long-term sustainable water solutions will ultimately cost the state billions of dollars and this proposed tax cut risks our ability to attain water security. Considering Arizona’s water future and its pending costs, Rep. Cook is right to stand up and fight a permanent tax cut valued at nearly $20 billion over the next decade. Those are dollars the state will sorely need to fund future water solutions.

We wish to make it perfectly clear to all of our municipal residents: We stand with Rep. Cook in protecting our public safety budgets and bringing funding to our counties to help mitigate our state’s long-term water shortage.

Mayor Craig McFarland, City of Casa Grande

Mayor Jon Thompson, City of Coolidge

Mayor Micah Powell, City of Eloy

Mayor Tara Walter, Town of Florence

Mayor Al Gameros, City of Globe

Mayor Dean Hetrick, Town of Hayden

Mayor Jamie Ramsey, Town of Kearny

Mayor Patsy Armenta, Town of Mammoth

Mayor Sammy Gonzales, Town of Miami

Mayor Mila Besich, Town of Superior

Mayor Louis Bracamonte, Town of Winkelman

Mayor Gail Barney, Town of Queen Creek