Vail residents are being asked to allow a vote on forming a new local government that would be a Tucson suburb, and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild says he supports it and other such efforts.
Citizens for Vail, a political committee trying to get the question of incorporation on the ballot, said Scott Altherr, a member of the committee. The effort comes after years of study and after Vail residents weighed in on what kind of governance they want, Altherr said.
Rothschild said he is supporting this and other efforts to form new local governments, or annexation to bring more population into existing cities or towns in the metropolitan area.
The reason, Rothschild said, is that cities and towns get state shared revenue based on population, and the more people in incorporated areas, the more shared revenue comes to the metropolitan area.
"The state has told us this is a way to be prosperous," Rothschild said.
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Altherr agreed: "We're losing revenue to the the state of Arizona. We want to capture that revenue and be able to set our priorities. We want to be able to dictate where that money goes, whether it's roads or parks or just better police protection."
Vail has a strong sense of community, in part because residents rally around the well-performing school district, and because there is a sense of history and culture, Altherr said.
"I think it's time we honor things like that," Rothschild said of the well-knit community.
Citizens for Vail estimates that if Vail incorporates, it would receive about $3.5 million in state revenue. That's enough money to provide services, Altherr said.
"It's just an economic infusion into this area," he said.
The group needs 300 to 400 signatures to get a question on a ballot asking residents whether to incorporate, Altherr said.