/ Modified feb 25, 2014 4:16 p.m.

Tucson Mayor's Third State of City Address Wednesday

Past topics included fixing roads as economic driver, annexing outlying areas, reducing poverty, homelessness.



In recent years, the city of Tucson needed to focus on fixing its bad roads to draw businesses and foster economic development, and annexation to bring more state revenue to the Tucson area, according to the past two State of the City speeches.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will give his third State of the City speech Wednesday at the Tucson Convention Center.

Some of his previous themes have undergone changes in the past year. Roads, for instance, are now being fixed as part of a $100 million bond program voters approved in 2012. The plan is to spend $20 million a year for the next five years to fix major roads and some residential streets.

Rothschild pushed for road repair as an economic driver.

"We need to develop a plan that gives us the infrastructure to be competitive as an international trade route, by interstate and rail, including the rail yard near Red Rock," he said in his State of the City speech in 2013.

The mayor has also focused on annexation and incorporation, saying in the past that having more of Pima County's square mileage inside of cities and towns would draw down more state funding, or what is called state shared revenue.

"We must collect our full allotment of state-shared revenues," he said in 2012. "We cannot allow our tax dollars to go to Phoenix."

State-shared revenues are sales, income, highway user revenue funds and collected from all taxpayers and distributed to cities and towns according to population. Rothschild has explained his push for incorporation and annexation as follows: the more square miles of Pima County are inside city and town limits, the more state revenue will be distributed to the area.

That said, the Tucson City Council attempted no major annexations in the last year.

Voters also turned down an attempt to incorporate Vail, on the southeast side of the metro area, in November 2013.

Rothschild brought up poverty and homelessness in Tucson in his 2013 State of the City speech. In the past year he formed a task force to combat poverty, and is working with the federal government to end veterans' homelessness in Tucson by 2015.

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