VOL. 16 ISSUE NO. 39   |  SEPTEMBER 29 – OCTOBER 5, 2010


Initiatives propose safeguards to imposing property tax

jim peirceCAREFREE – On Sept. 27, Jim Peirce registered the Property Tax Committee to start collecting signatures for two citizen’s initiatives, IN2010-03 and IN2010-04, which, if passed by voters, will amend the Carefree Town Code by adding Chapter 15 “Town Property Tax.”

According to Peirce, chairman and treasurer of the political action committee, 227 valid signatures are required for each initiative.

IN2010-03 would add Section 15-1, which reads: “An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Carefree Common Council is required to present any property tax proposal to the registered voters of the town.

“This section shall be self-executing and effective on approval by the voters.”

IN2010-04 will add the following language to Section 15-2: “A majority affirmative vote of the registered voters of the Town of Carefree voting on the issue is required before any Carefree town property tax or increase in existing Carefree town property tax previously approved by Carefree voters shall be enacted.

“This section shall be self-executing and effective on approval by the voters.”

According to Peirce, there was little dialogue and no public vote when the town increased its sales tax from 2 percent to 3 percent a few years ago. Now that voters approved a one cent increase to state sales tax, Carefree’s sales tax is 10.3 percent.

He also pointed out the significant downward trend in the town’s sales tax revenue over the past few years.

But the final thing that triggered Peirce to introduce these initiatives was a comment he attributed to Mayor David Schwan, who said Carefree could impose a property tax if it’s properly sold to the public.

Peirce noted there was no provision in the state Constitution, statute or town code preventing a simple majority of council from imposing a property tax on the citizens of Carefree.

If Peirce is able to collect a sufficient number of signatures by Nov. 8, the initiatives will appear on the March 8, 2011 primary election ballot.

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