Tucson Public Safety Initiative, Proposition 200 (2009)
The measure called for 350 additional police officers. According to Tucson city officials the additional positions will cost the city an additional $50 million per year. In June, city council officials said that if the measure is approved in November then the council will most likely impose property or sales tax increases in order to pay for the additional expenses. Alternatively, the council would have to cut five city staff positions to compensate for the increase. Specifically the initiative would require that in five years there are 2.4 police officers per 1,000 residents. Additionally, it requires that in four years the fire department's response times not exceed the 2004 levels set by the National Fire Protection Association.
The proposition was defeated by a significant margin, even before all the districts reported, those in favor of the proposition knew it would not pass. The head of the firefighters union was surprised more people did not want this initiative passed, but Tucson voters went with their money, opposing the increased taxes that would have been needed if this had passed.
|Tucson Public Safety Initiative, Proposition 200|
Public Safety First advertisement
- Tucson Association of Realtors
- Tucson Police Officers Association
- International Association of Firefighters
- Southern Arizona Home Builders Association
- Former council candidate Lori Oien.
- Tucson Police Command Association
- Tucson Firefighters Association
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Arguments in favor
Proponents in the October 26 debate gave their arguments for the proposition as keeping the city residents more safe and trying to hold the city council accountable. Supporters have said that Proposition 200 would make city council members more accountable to the citizens.
Opponents The Arizona Multihousing Association is the latest organization to come out against this proposition, again stating that it is not fiscally responsible for the city and would not help the citizens of Tucson. If this is passed, it would increase county property taxes which are already the highest in the entire state. It would also increase local city taxes in order to build the new fire and police stations that would be needed with the increase of police and fire officers. The Police department has stated that they have reduced crime over the years and the local Fire department says it also meats the required time already, without the initiative.
Arguments against Proposition 200 include:
- the only other city in the county to enact such a charter change is Aurora, Colorado and Aurora has declared bankruptcy.
- More police officers will not solve the policing problems in Tucson's more crime-ridden neighborhoods.
- Although it is being marketed by its supporters as pro-police, it would actually "just mandate more government spending with no strings attached."
- Chuck Huckelberry, Pima County Administrator, says that "If Proposition 200 passes, property taxes will increase by at least 8-10%."
- Mike Letcher, Tucson City Manager, says "The passage of Proposition 200 would be catastrophic for the City of Tucson."
- Goldwater State, an Arizona blog, states that adding more police officers just to fill the numbers needed would add officers not up to the standards of the Tucson police force currently and lower the overall effectiveness that the police force has.
List of those opposed
A partial list of those opposing Proposition 200 includes:
- Arizona Multihousing Association
- League of United Latin American Citizens
- Pima Association of Taxpayers
- Full list of opponents
- City of Tucson's Prop 200 page
- Text of Prop 200 in English
- Text of Prop 200 in Spanish
- Don't Handcuff Tucson, opposition website
- Keep Tucson Safe, website of those who support Prop 200
- Arizona Daily Star, "Proposition 200 a lot more involved than it may seem," October 11,2009
- Arizona Daily Star, "At least 42.4 percent of police, firefighters live outside Tucson ," October 31, 2009
- Fox 11 AZ, "Tucson City Council deals with potential ballot initiatives," June 24, 2009
- KOLD News 13, "Proposition 200 crushed," November 3, 2009
- Election Summary Report
- Arizona Daily Star, "Council: 'Safety initiative' means huge tax hike," June 24, 2009
- List of Prop 200 supporters
- Examiner.com, "Prop 200 forum: fear mongering and guilt vs fiscal responsibility," October 27, 2009
- Tucson Weekly, "Chamber Opposes Public Safety First Initiative," September 21, 2009
- Tucson Weekly, "More Opposition to Public Safety First Initiative: Prop 200 "Is Fiscally Irresponsible" ," October 1, 2009
- AZ Biz, "Voters should reject Proposition 200; vote 'yes' on Prop 400 ," October 8, 2009
- Examiner, "Tucson Ward One Residents Want Less Crime and Punishment," October 10 2009
- Goldwater Institute, "Proposition mandates huge expansion of Tucson's payroll," October 26, 2009
- Goldwater State, "Tucson Proposition 200 is so bad that there's near unanimity," October 29, 2009
- List of Prop 200 opponents