Vol. 15 Issue No. 6 | February 11 – February 17, 2009

Shared revenue to come back to towns

By Curtis Riggs | February 11, 2009

Benefit of recent Supreme Court ruling

CAVE CREEK/CAREFREE – The two Desert Foothills communities should soon receive much-needed infusions of cash after a recent Arizona Supreme Court decision on state-shared revenue.

The State of Arizona took $30 million from Arizona cities and towns last summer to help solve some of its own budget woes.

In a unanimous ruling on Feb. 3, the Supreme Court decided the taking of the shared income tax revenue was unconstitutional. The case was filed by the Arizona League of Cities and Towns, representing the 90 cities and towns in Arizona. The League maintained taking the $30 million added a “crushing burden” to local governments, which had already slashed their own budgets.

Carefree Town Administrator Jon Pearson estimates Carefree will get about $13,000 back after the decision.

Cave Creek Town Manager Usama Abujbarah expects the amount paid back to Cave Creek to be between $25,000 and $33,000.

He is sure the money will be returned because of the wording in the court decision. “The Supreme Court decision was very clear and they had already received the money,” Abujbarah said.

Many in the Legislature and other branches of state government agreed with the Feb. 3 ruling even though the state will have to find $30 million more to balance its own budget.

In a prepared statement, Gov. Jan Brewer called the Legislature’s taking the $30 million to help with its own budget woes, “the latest example of unsound and improper budget management decisions that have contributed significantly to state budget impacts being felt throughout Arizona.”