I truly believe we need to ensure the passing of the Home Rule measure at our next election. Having lived in a state where money did not often get to the rural areas, it was an eye-opener to see a means of having a say in how a portion of our money would be spent. Yes, it is only a small portion of our tax dollars, but it allows our area to keep funding many of the services needed right here in Payson.
Not passing this very critical measure would result in less money for the town which would result in limited services, repairs, and other related things that make this a good place to live. We have a great police department, a wonderful fire department, great parks and library. We have good schools, roads and with snow, quick shoveling, and our overall lifestyle is good.
Some seven years ago I moved to Arizona from another state that is also suffering severe loss of tax dollars and other hardships. At that time Arizona was experiencing a statewide growth spurt, there was a “rainy day” fund in the state’s accounts and things were good here in Payson as far as growth and tax dollars.
Now we are faced with two very critical changes, all citizens with less money and a very depleted Town of Payson, County of Gila and State of Arizona. Along with the shortages, we are about to face the next gold rush, that being a shortage of water, and how important that water is to all Arizona folk as well the rest of the west. He who has water is rich, and he who has none will continue to wither. With all the growth of the state, water is becoming a major issue along with roads, schools, and all other services. After the recent storm, this seems like a nonevent, but it is still an issue throughout the west.
Our town very smartly started negotiations for water from Blue Ridge. In addition, neighboring communities also started looking at their long-term needs. A big project is planned for the purpose of bringing this water to our region. This is a critical need that needs to be funded. In addition, we have greater needs to services, schools, and roads, and well as other related needs. All of which require money that only we, the people of the region can have a direct line on keeping here, through the Home Rule measure. Since we have had this measure in place for some time, it really reflects no change in the current situation.
I lived with the Jarvis/Gann measure in California, which resulted in unfair taxation for new home buyers since that bill went into effect. The Home Rule measure affects us equally giving local control on the money allowing us to spend it in the ways we need for the betterment of our community. It is unique to this state and it is a good thing for Payson.