What does “Home Rule” mean to the residents of the Town of Superior?
Home rule is a part of the State of Arizona Constitution, which was amended by Arizona voters in 1980 to limit the amount of expenditures by cities, towns, counties and community college districts. The phrase “home rule” comes from a section of the 1980 constitutional amendment that gives local voters a way to change the spending limit and also allows local voters to approve an exception to the state imposed expenditure limitation in their city or town. Because the issue can be decided by local voters, it is called “home rule.” Under the state-imposed expenditure limitation, a city or town may only spend a certain amount of funds. Regardless of the city or Town’s revenue or individual needs, its budget is limited by the state-imposed ceiling. Under the Home Rule Option, the city or town may determine its own expenditures based on its budget.
The state-imposed limitation restricts spending by imposing a formula that takes a city or town’s 1979-1980 expenditure and multiplies it by a population factor and an inflation factor.
“Home Rule” impact on the Town
If Superior’s home rule expenditure limitation is extended by voters, then the community’s expenditures for the next four years would be established by its budget rather than the State formula. It allows for greater flexibility and local control to address priorities and needs of the town. With Home Rule, town residents and the Mayor and Council will continue to decide what level of service is best for Superior. Home Rule allows the City to expend all the revenues it receives to provide services to residents.
If “Home Rule” is not approved, then the state mandated expenditure would limit the Town’s budget. The Town would be required to operate within the state imposed limitation until another election could be held. According to Town estimates it would be allowed to expend approximately $1,694,231.00. It would require cuts in the magnitude of $2,609,188.00. A reduction of this amount would come out of the general fund budget that pays for the pool, senior center, library, ambulance, cemetery and would limit the scope of public safety, streets, sanitation and administration.
“Home Rule” History
Superior residents approved Home Rule in the last election nearly four years ago and we are currently in the final year of that voter approval. The Town of Superior initiated Home Rule in 1995, and it has been renewed every year except for in 2007, but it was reauthorized by voters in 2009. In 2009, Home rule and permanent adjustments have been voted on and approved in 75 Arizona Cities and Towns.
Home Rule Election Date
The election date concerning “Home Rule” is May 21, 2013.