A: No. Based on the economic feasibility study conducted by IVA, funding the town government does not require an additional or new property tax. Town expenses will be funded by state share revenues, a sales tax, and development fees. Currently the state sales taxes paid by Vail residents are distributed by the state to other counties and incorporated towns and cities in Arizona. In other words, our tax dollars are being used to support communities other than Vail.
Local Governance: Incorporation allows a town to have its own local government, which can then tailor policies and regulations to address the unique needs and concerns of the residents. This can lead to more responsive and effective governance. Residents can elect officials who understand and prioritize the needs of the community.
Local Control Over Land Use: An incorporated town has the power to regulate land use and development within its boundaries. This would give Vail the ability to shape its own future and ensure that new development is compatible with the community’s vision. Through the adoption of a general plan, the town could ensure that new development is compatible with established neighborhoods and existing uses.
Planning and Zoning Control: With incorporation, the town gains control over its planning and zoning regulations. This can help shape the town’s growth and development including the provision for parks, trails, recreational facilities, wildlife areas, and open spaces.
Autonomy: As an unincorporated area, Vail is subject to decisions made by other governmental entities, such as the state or county. As a result, Vail does not have a say in many local matters. Incorporation enables the town to manage its own affairs, including public safety, public services, infrastructure, and land use.
Community Identity: An incorporated town has a stronger sense of community identity than an unincorporated area. Incorporation helps to solidify and preserve the community’s identity, culture, and values. It allows the residents to establish a sense of belonging and pride in part of a distinct community with its history and traditions.
Local Services: An incorporated town can provide, manage, and determine the level and quality of local services such as police, parks, and recreational facilities. This localized approach can lead to more efficient and more responsive government.
Local Revenue: Arizona cities and towns receive a share of the Arizona Urban Revenue Fund which includes state sales tax, highway user revenue, and vehicle license tax. As residents of Vail, we pay these taxes, but as an unincorporated community, we don’t get back our share of these funds. These are funds that can be used to fund our town and help improve local roads and build parks.
Economic Development: Incorporated towns can implement community and economic development initiatives to create local jobs, grow and support local businesses, and boost the local economy.
Attract Infrastructure Investment and Funding: As an incorporated town, Vail will be eligible for regional, state, and federal funding and grants for a wide variety of projects and programs funding for public safety and the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, and public facilities.
Quality of Lifestyle. By having greater control over local services, infrastructure and development, the Town of Vail will control its own future and destiny. We can ensure that the residents of Vail have a choice of living in an urban or rural setting. We can protect the natural environment and respect and celebrate our history, culture, and traditions. We can provide our residents with well-planned and managed public amenities and infrastructure. We can make sure Vail remains a safe, attractive, and viable community. Together, as a community, we can enhance the overall quality of life for all our citizens.
A: No. If the voters approve incorporation in November, the Pima County Board of Supervisors will appoint an interim Town Council. By law, this interim council is required to schedule an election at the earliest possible date where the Vail voters will elect the new Town of Vail Mayor and Council.
A: Many people move to Vail to experience the natural beauty of our community and to take advantage the proximity to Saguaro National Park, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, the Cienega Natural Preserve and the adjacent US Forest Lands. Currently, many of the decisions regarding the protection of open space and recreational areas within the proposed town boundaries rest with Pima County and the State of Arizona. As an unincorporated area, Vail lacks a local land use plan and the authority to protect these areas.
Many of the residents of Vail live on large suburban and rural lots and enjoy a rural lifestyle. They fear urbanization and large-scale development. Presently, these residents must rely on Pima County to regulate development and protect their zoning. Under incorporation, land use and zoning would be determined locally by the locally elected town mayor and council and would be guided by a general town and-use plan approved by the voters of Vail.
A: As an unincorporated area within Pima County, the land in Vail has the potential to be annexed into the City of Tucson. This is especially true of undeveloped land that has high commercial or retail value.
Decisions on annexation by the City of Tucson are made by the Tucson Mayor and Council with the approval of only the property owners subject to the annexation. The residents of Vail do not have a veto over a specific annexation.
This is the case in an ongoing effort by the City of Tucson to annex three parcels of state- owned land adjacent to a large parcel of land known as H2K which is located south of the Union Pacific rail line between Houghton and Colossal Cave Roads. This land was annexed into the City of Tucson several years ago and was recently rezoned for commercial and industrial development.
The State Land Department has agreed to annex three state owned parcels into the City of Tucson. Since the adjacent property owners in Hanson Ridge are in unincorporated Pima County and not subject to the annexation, they do not have a formal say or vote in this annexation.
Had this land been in the Town of Vail, the Vail Mayor and Council, elected by the residents of Vail, would have determined the zoning and development standards and requirements for this parcel of land, not the Tucson Mayor and Council and State Land Department.
A: Yes, it adds a new layer of government but also replaces some elements of county government such as transportation, public safety, zoning, permits, local court, etc. However, the town would be governed by a town mayor and council elected by the residents of Vail and those residents would have a local office for government services instead of having to go downtown 25 miles away. Local decisions about the future of Vail would be made by citizens of Vail and not the City of Tucson, Pima County, or the State of Arizona.
A: We conducted an objective economic feasibility study with cost estimates for public safety provided by Pima County that shows that the Town of Vail can maintain a HIGHER level of sheriff services at no additional cost and without requiring the imposition of a town property tax.
A: The Pima Association of Government (PAG) is the countywide planning organization that guides transportation, air quality, and water quality projects and programs in Pima County. PAG is composed of representatives of the various governmental jurisdictions in the county including Pima County and the City of Tucson. As an unincorporated area, Vail does not have a seat at the PAG table nor a formal voice in regional planning and decision-making.
The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) oversees the regional transportation plan and administers the revenues from the RTA half-cent tax that funds regional transportation projects. As an unincorporated area within Pima County, Vail does not sit on the RTA board or have a direct voice in the allocation of RTA transportation funding.
As an incorporated town, Vail would have formal representation on the PAG and RTA boards and would have a formal role and voice in regional planning and the allocation of transportation funding.
Currently, any RTA transportation funding for projects in Vail must be allocated and administered through Pima County.
A: No. The Vail School District, under state law, is a separate and independent entity. It is governed by an elected school board that sets district policies, oversees the administration and operation of the district, and sets the tax rate. The Vail Mayor and Council will have no jurisdictional authority over the school district, nor can it raise school district taxes or change its boundaries.
A: No. The Rincon Fire Department is an independent governmental entity organized under state law. It is governed by a board composed of local residents. The board establishes policies, sets tax rates, and oversees the operation of the district. The Vail Mayor and Council will have no jurisdictional authority over the fire district, nor can it raise fire district taxes or change its boundaries.
A: No. Water in Vail is supplied by privately owned and operated water companies and individually owned residential wells. The ownership, control and operation of these companies and wells will not automatically transfer to the Town of Vail under incorporation. These companies and wells will continue to be privately owned and operated for the foreseeable future. Water charges will not change.
However, as Vail continues to grow, it may be necessary to identify and secure new sources of water for our community. As an incorporated town, Vail would have the authority to secure contracts with Tucson Water and Pima County Wastewater for additional sources of water.
In addition, as incorporated town, Vail would have a formal voice in the state and regional discussions and deliberations about securing a safe, stable, and sustainable source of water for Pima County.
A: Under state law, residents of an area wishing to incorporate must petition the County to hold an election on incorporation.
In case of Vail, more than 2,500 Vail residents signed petitions in less than a month. These petitions were presented to Pima County for verification and validation. More than enough valid signatures were secured on those petitions to require the County to schedule an election at the earliest possible date, in this case November 7, 2023.
A: State-shared revenues are taxes already levied and collected by the State. A percentage of these taxes are allocated back to the local governments on a population basis. If our community incorporates, the population’s share of state-shared revenues come directly to Vail for allocation and use by the locally elected council. Other incorporating municipalities have found their state-shared revenues generally cover the basic services of a newly incorporated municipality.
A: Having a municipal government means that your locally elected council members focus on your issues regarding economic development, patterns of growth, level of municipal services, and how to spend any tax revenues. Your council will always be focused on the direction you are giving it and only on projects within your community rather than the county-wide view required of the Pima County Board of Supervisors. You are the intended recipient of the government services funded by state-shared revenues, incorporation makes sure those revenues are spent in your community. The proposed town of Vail is only .4% of the total area of Pima County and 1.98% of the population of Pima County. At Pima County, our needs will always be proportional to the rest of the County.
A: Incorporate Vail PAC is a non-profit organization that accepts donations from individuals and large sponsors alike to fund this effort to incorporate.