Arizona Conserving Arizona's Future, Proposition 106 (2006)
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|Conserving Arizona's Future|
The bill would have permited certain parcels of trust land to be used for conversion without compensation.
Text of measure
The language that appeared on the ballot:
In 1910, the United States Congress passed the Arizona-New Mexico Enabling Act, allowing Arizona to become a state. The Enabling Act granted Arizona 10.9 million acres of land, referred to as "state trust land", to be held in trust for the benefit of the named beneficiaries, primarily the public schools, as well as other public institutions (colleges, hospitals, prisons, etc.). Both the Enabling Act and the Arizona Constitution provide that the state can lease or sell trust land, and the natural products (timber, minerals, etc.) of the land, to the "highest and best bidder" at advertised public auction and lands and products offered for sale must be appraised at and sold for not less than "true value."Proposition 106 would amend the Arizona Constitution to:
1. Create a new seven member Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor, with the consent of the State Senate, to plan and dispose of all state trust lands. A majority of the members must have substantial involvement with public schools, such as university governance or administration, teaching or education advocacy. The costs associated with the Board are to be paid with a portion of the proceeds (5% - 8%) derived from the sale or lease of trust lands. Currently, all of the proceeds go to benefit schools and other beneficiaries of the state trust.
2. Create a Conservation Reserve, consisting of approximately 694,000 acres of state trust land, to be managed by a Board of Trustees. This trust land would no longer be available for sale to provide revenue for schools and other public institutions, although some revenue from leasing may be realized.
3. Generally the land in the Conservation Reserve must be restricted against "development" and be managed in a manner consistent with "conservation", but not required to be accessible to the public unless and until conveyed out of the state land trust, as those terms are defined in this proposal, and subject to the following: a. Any lease, right-of-way or other use in existence when this provision is enacted may continue. b. "Educational" reserve land may be conveyed to the Arizona Board of Regents for research and education. Buildings may be constructed on up to 50 acres of educational reserve land to support university programs. c. "Permanent" reserve land may be conveyed by the Trustees to state or local governmental entities without payment, unless the land is leased for grazing. d. "Provisional" reserve land may be conveyed by the Trustees to federal, state or local governmental entities or nonprofit conservation organizations upon payment of the true value of the land. Payment may be made in monetary or other forms of value that can be demonstrated by an appraisal. Provisional reserve lands not conveyed within a specified period of time may be removed from the Conservation Reserve and then treated in the same manner as other state trust land.
4. Allow the Board of Trustees to adopt a method for determining the "highest and best bid" that does not require the highest return to the state trust.
5. Provide that the Board of Trustees may convey title to state trust lands in exchange for an agreement to receive a share of anticipated gross revenues generated by the subsequent lease or sale of the land.
6. Allow the Board of Trustees to grant public rights-of-way over state trust land, without conducting an advertised public auction, in exchange for any form of value that can be demonstrated by an appraisal.
7. Require that land use planning for state trust lands be prepared in conjunction with the county, city or town where the land is located, according to generally applicable regulations that apply equally to similar private property in the jurisdiction. If the land use plan designates a part of the trust land for conservation, the Board of Trustees may convey that portion of the land to a state or local governmental entity without compensation, if the total compensation for all of the trust land subject to the plan is or will be at least equal to the "true value" of all of the subject land. The designated conservation land must be restricted against "development" and be managed in a manner consistent with "conservation" but not required to be accessible to the public unless and until conveyed out of the state land trust.
8. Allow the Board of Trustees to set aside a portion of the proceeds generated from state trust lands for the administration, management, planning and disposition of the land.
Proposition 106 does not become fully effective unless the United States Congress amends the Arizona-New Mexico Enabling Act prior to 2009 to authorize the changes contained in this proposal.
Fiscal Impact Statement
State law requires the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) Staff to prepare a summary of the fiscal impact of certain ballot measures. Proposition 106 contains provisions that may increase future revenues to state trust land beneficiaries and other provisions that may reduce revenues that otherwise would have been received by these beneficiaries. The proposition sets aside a percent of the proceeds from the disposition of state trust land for trust land administration. This provision may initially provide up to $6 million annually from proceeds that would otherwise have been invested for the beneficiaries. The additional administrative funding may permit the state to prepare trust land parcels for sale or lease more quickly, which may accelerate revenues to beneficiaries. The value of land generally appreciates over time. If state trust land is sold earlier under the proposition, the longer term fiscal impact may depend, at least in part, on the rate of investment returns of the accelerated revenue compared to the sale price at a later date.
The proposition would permit certain parcels of trust land to be used for conservation without compensation. In this circumstance, the trust beneficiaries would not receive the proceeds from the sale of this land. The level of foregone revenue is difficult to predict in advance.
Governor Janet Napolitano wrote the following about Prop 106:
The Conserving Arizona's Future Initiative is supported by a wide range of Arizonans, including leading conservation organizations, teachers, educators, and both Republican and Democratic leaders. We all back this initiative because it gives us an opportunity to protect 690,000 acres of state trust land, manage the future growth of Arizona, and protect our open space, water and air. And it does all this while increasing essential funding for Arizona's public schools. Now is the time to protect our state trust land. Without this measure, Arizona could soon lose some of our most precious state lands to uncontrolled and unmanaged growth. For those of us who care about saving Arizona's most beautiful places and making our beautiful State even a better place to live with even better education for our children, this is a win-win initiative. Please join me in voting YES on Conserving Arizona's Future.
Rae Waters, President Arizona School Boards Association, Chandler wrote the following
Our forefathers provided Arizona with land to be held in trust to fund education for our public school children. These lands, and the proceeds from sold land, are constitutionally held in trust forever so that each and every public school child reaps the benefit. The Arizona School Boards Association opposes Conserving Arizona's Future, as it gives away 300,000 acres of land that could be sold to support our public school children and allows another 400,000 acres of land to waive the auction process, where best value can be obtained. Further, Conserving Arizona's Future puts in jeopardy the sale of state trust lands, and the additional dollars for Arizona classrooms they generate, with incomplete Constitutional language as to the process to which lands can be sold. The Arizona School Boards Association was at the table in collaboration with all parties to create trust land reform; Conserving Arizona's Future is not the product of these discussions. To change the Constitution that protects trust lands for the benefit of our public school children should only be done if that product enhances educational funding. Conserving Arizona's Future does not do this; there is a better way.
Donors to the campaign for the measure:
- Conserving Arizonans Future C-03-2006: $2,486,026
- AZ Conservation Campaign in Support of C-03-2006: $627,104
- Creating Arizonas Future in Support of C-03-2006: $556,999
- Total: $3,670,129
Donors to the campaign against the measure:
- Save Our Trust C-03-2006 Oppose: $2,747,897
- Protect Teacher Pay C-03-06: $195,052
- Arizonans for Education Opposed to Prop 106 (C-03-2006): $80,000
- Total: $3,022,949
- Overall Total: $6,693,078
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