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12/19/2012 10:46:00 AM
Chino Valley sales tax to go up 1 percent
Review/Matt Santos
Finance Director Joe Duffy
Review/Matt Santos
Finance Director Joe Duffy
Matt Santos

Correction: In our original story we stated that Chino Valley's sales tax would go to 11.35 percent with the Town Council's approval of a 1 percent hike. However, with the State's 1 percent temporary tax expiring in June, the action is a wash. Chino Valley's sales tax rate will remain at 10.35 percent.

The Chino Valley Town Council voted on Dec. 11 to raise the town sales tax an additional 1 percent to bring revenue into line with expenses.

However, since voters did not approve an extension of the State of Arizona's temporary 1 percent sales tax, that tax will go away the same day Chino Valley's sales tax amount will increase, making the town's increase a wash, with sales taxes staying the same at 10.35 percent.

The town increase won't begin until June 1, 2013.

"With no action, the Town of Chino Valley will run out of funds in 2014-2015," said town Finance Director Joe Duffy. Duffy itemized several areas where the town already has cut expenses, including cutting staff from 125 to 85, a 10 percent pay cut, reduction of hours, reducing department budgets nearly 30 percent, and eliminating any cost of living or performance increases since 2007. "The town is not taking this lightly. We have been working extremely hard to come up with both a short term and long term solution to fix this deficit."

Faced with the choice of raising the sales tax, initiating a property tax, or a combination of the two, the town recently asked for suggestions from the public on how to tackle the financial crisis.

After scheduling open meetings and sending out a town survey to all Chino Valley registered voters, participation from the public was disappointingly low, said Mayor Chris Marley.

"We didn't have an overwhelming participation in the survey," said Marley. "We made it as available as possible, mailing it to folks' homes, printing it out for people to pick up at town hall, and the people that took part in the survey supported the increase in sales tax."

Of the 5,775 surveys sent out, only 1,319 (22.8 percent) responded. When asked to rank which alternative funding sources the town should consider, 37 percent said their first choice would be an increase in sales tax, 21 percent said a combination sales tax increase and new property tax, and 11 percent answered that a property tax alone would be their first choice. Thirty one percent of those surveyed left this question blank.

The possibility of the combination sales and property tax will be explored, but to initiate the property tax, it would have to be approved by voters in the May 2013 election. If presented and approved, the earliest the town would see any money from a new property tax would be November 2013.

"It looks like from what we've got (in the survey) that there's no chance a property tax would pass," said councilmember Linda Hatch. "I guess it behooves us to decide whether it's worth the cost to try it or not."

"No one wants their taxes raised," said councilmember Lon Turner. "By the same token, 77 percent of our town didn't even include themselves in the survey. I think that's kind of pitiful. The people that did respond said that they wanted the largest budget items in our town budget to be priority items. That's fine, but you can't have your cake and eat it too. The money has to come from someplace."

Other items of business included the discussion and approval of the town's new animal regulation, Resolution No. 12-999, replacing the current town code.

Resolution 12-999 was approved as presented, with minor amendments to items dealing with vaccination age requirements and clarification on nuisance barking and restraints.

A full record of this and all public meetings is available online at www.chinoaz.net.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013
Article comment by: MIKE B.


Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2013
Article comment by: Art Sandoval

I bet a big box store would have helped our little financial struggle. If we started marketing our community to FRANCHISES instead of trying to survive on the small business owners, we could support them. No offense to small business owners, I support you as often as I can but we need the financial stability of a franchise in our community. I know that a monthly visit to Wal Mart and Costco is something I need to do and that usually follows by a visit for lunch or dinner and all that money is spent in other communities. I don't want to hear "lack of infrastructure" as an excuse! We have infrastructure on several vacant lots right now and we don't invite or welcome any businesses in those areas. Time to wake up folks! We are NOT the small "rural" community anymore. Also, how about annexing our town limits west of Reed Rd. so that we can have more people with opportunities to get involved in the politics. We have the potential to be a self sufficient town!!!

Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2013
Article comment by: Richard Farretta

This shows the need to be friendly to new business and the stop pandering to the nimby community, the Koa park would have bought in much needed tourist sales tax dollars, the Del Rio project would also have bought in more sales tax dollars had they been approved in a timely manner.
Chino Valley needs to be seen as welcoming new residents and business so that it has a solid tax base from which to fund projects that will benefit the community.
It is such a beautiful place to live but without providing the elements that attract new business the town will be known as the high sales tax Dollar store city.

Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Article comment by: Karen Pullins

I agree with these other comments. If the tax rate
would have gone up to 11.35 I would definitely had to shop in another town. It's bad enough at 10.35%. I came from a town with a 6.60% sales tax. We are business owners and it's almost embarrassing to live in a town that demands this high of tax. I would look at the budget again! We all have to make cuts and don't have the luxury of charging others to make it work.

Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012
Article comment by: No Appropriate Answers

I didn't return the survey simply because none of the multiple choices reflected my answers.

All of the questions assumed we were going ahead with some sort of an increase. What difference do my answers make if the decision is already made? The survey insulted my intelligence.

The Police Force is top heavy with management. Start there.

I was told that the speed limit on my street was going to be increased. Later that week a new speed limit sign was erected at the old limit and, you guessed it, three weeks later the new sign was changed out to the new speed. the crew didn't say it when I asked, (they were undoubtedly trying to be good employees) but you could see in their eyes that this was completely dumb and they knew it too.

Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012
Article comment by: Chino Valley gets a thumbs down!!!!

As if shopping or owning a business in Chino isn't bad enough already!!!! This is the single most worst idea to put forth....Unless the idea is to make everybody shop elsewhere? Which is what most people do that commute to Prescott or PV. CLearly Chino's leadership is lacking in several areas.

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Article comment by: Matt G

I also live in the county with a Chino adress. The town of Chino Valley can now be certain that no new buisinesses will come to Chino. I try to shop local as often as possible, but another 1% is just too much. This town will suffer. I think they should cut until there budget is balanced. Just like the rest of us.

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Article comment by: Chino Newbie

It is most unfortunate to hear that the Chino Valley sales tax will be raised 1percent in 2013. It is difficult enough for local Chino businesses to survive! The increase in sales tax will be one more reason for Chino residents to shop elsewhere! Think about it...the residents of Chino who shop in Prescott or Phoenix receive their Chino services without paying for them.
Does that seem fair? It doesn't to me! My address is in Chino Valley but I live in the county so have no say in Chino politics. I would have been happy to return a survey.
Come on Chino politicians please get creative where Town finances are concerned! Maybe Mr. Duffy can let an impartial committee look at the budget. An impartial group might see new areas to change or cut.
I'm sure Jon N. isn't the only person who will "boycott Chino" and that's a sad state of affairs.

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Article comment by: Claudette Johnson

Been boycotting since the town approved the solar power plant next to our properties since May 2011. Bad enough they devalued our property values and now they want more money. Good luck small businesses as you are the ones who are going suffer the most.

Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Article comment by: Jon N

Boycott Chino Valley starting in June!

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