/ Modified sep 18, 2013 5:30 p.m.

Vail Incorporation Could Be Regional Benefit

Creating a new town could be financially smart because of state revenue distribution, supporters say.


Residents of Vail will decide Nov. 5 whether to become the state's newest town.

The decision comes down to self control, said Jeannie Haldorsen, a member of the Citizens for Vail Committee, the organization that got the question on the ballot.

"If we don't do something, somebody else will in the area for us," she said. "This is the opportunity for us to take local control."

The only people who can vote on the question are those who would live in the town if incorporation passes, which includes about 11,500 potential residents. Of those, about 7,100 are registered voters who can weigh in on election day, Haldorsen said.

If the Vail-area residents decide to incorporate, though, the decision could financially impact others in the Tucson metropolitan area, said Rob Samuelsen, a member of Citizens for Vail.

That's because a portion of local funding comes from state revenues that are distributed according to population, and the formula is dependent on how many people, in each area, live in an incorporated city or town. The more residents who aren't in the unincorporated county, the more state-shared revenue the area receives, Samuelsen explained.

"A rising tide raises all ships," he said.

If Vail residents decide to create a town, the budget would be about $3.5 million. A town council would be responsible for spending that on police, administration and roads, plus any other departments it decided to create, Haldorsen said. The town could hire employees to carry out those duties, or contract with other public entities or private companies to provide those services.

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