We continue our look at what advocates for various issues want and expect from state lawmakers this upcoming session. We’ve heard from business and education leaders. Tonight, the focus is Arizona cities. Our guests: Mesa Mayor John Giles and the Mayor of Yuma, Douglas Nicholls.
“I have to say after last session it’s not as bad as it has been. Last session the cities and towns were very concerned about losing funding because of the flat tax legislation was going on but ultimately the legislature did hold cities harmless so we counted that a victory,” Giles said.
Giles continued to reflect on the past legislative session and it effects on Arizona cities and towns, “cities are always playing defense frankly, every legislative session because local control is a priority for us it doesn’t seem to be a priority for the legislature so we play defense every year and I’m sure that will be the case in the upcoming session.”
In regards to the flat tax, “I guess I’m going to be optimistic in thinking that we’re going to be not starting that conversation at ground zero but fairly well into the process and we’re gonna be again optimistic and say that whatever comes forward will reflect the same kind of deal or same kind of provisions that were in last years,” Nicholls said.
Nicholls shared that it’s important for city advocates to have that dialogue early on with the legislature, “helps us not be in the defensive mode and helps us be in the collaborative mode so we can support things as they come out and not having to try and figure out how can we influence it after it’s already out.”