This past Monday at 5 p.m. marked the deadline to introduce measures in the Senate. All told 481 bills, two concurrent memorials, 19
concurrent resolutions and three resolutions have been introduced, a significant reduction compared to last session. Last year saw a
total of 533 bills, 12 concurrent memorials, 44 concurrent resolutions, one memorial and eight resolutions introduced.
On Wednesday February 6, Governor Brewer signed HB 2503 providing the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) with a $500,000
supplemental appropriation. The IRC originally submitted a request for $2.7 million. This will make HB 2503 the second chaptered bill
of the 51st Legislature.
This coming Monday, February 11, is the deadline for the introduction of new measures in the House of Representative. After 5 p.m. on
that day, the general "universe" of legislation will be known.
This deadline is perhaps most pressing for the League because the Governor's legislation on changes to the transaction privilege tax is
likely to be introduced prior to the Monday 5 o'clock deadline. The League has been following the issue closely and will provide
analysis and information as it becomes available.
HB 2331 (bonding; taxation; expenditures; district limitations)
passed the House Committee on Reform and Human Services on Thursday of this week. The bill restricts the activities of special taxing
districts and subjects them to the constitutional expenditure and levy limits imposed on the political subdivision in which they are
located. Under this bill, a special taxing district cannot be formed if any part of it is located within the jurisdiction of another
political subdivision or within multiple political subdivisions if the sum of the expenditures of all the political subdivisions exceeds
constitutional debt limits.
Additionally, special taxing districts would be prohibited from levying new or increased ad valorem tax if the sum of the ad valorem
taxes levied by all political subdivisions located within that special taxing district exceeds constitutional debt limits. Cities and
towns oppose the bill because it will hurt our ability to finance critical infrastructure and will stymie economic development.
On Tuesday, the House Government Committee heard
HB 2443 (cities; counties; regulatory review). The measure,
sponsored by Rep. Olson (R- Mesa), contains numerous changes to the statutes governing the issuance of licenses and permits for cities,
towns, counties and flood control districts. The language represents cooperation between both business and government to provide
meaningful changes while maintaining proper protections for the regulated community.
The League supports the bill as a great collaborative effort to bring greater clarity to the regulatory scheme created by Laws 2010,
Chapter 312 (SB 1598). This issue is also a League Resolution for 2013. The bill passed out of the House Government Committee on a 7-1
vote. The committee additionally adopted an amendment sponsored by Rep. Ugenti, which contains numerous drafting corrections.
Taxes on Commercial Leases
In each of the last two weeks, the bulletin highlighted two separate bills related to commercial lease sales tax. The goal of each of
these bills is to expand upon legislation passed in recent years to exempt lease transactions between entities that share at least 80%
common ownership from commercial lease tax. Specifically, the sponsors want to ensure that all entities that have common ownership,
instead of just those explicitly listed in statute, are exempt. The League has been working closely with Senator Reagan and
Representative Farnsworth on amendments to address their issue and ensure that future conflicts with state tax code and practice are not
created. SB 1028 (municipal TPT exemption; leases; LLC) passed
out of the Senate Committee on Finance with a comprehensive amendment that the League feels accomplishes the stated goals. The League
thanks Senator Reagan for her cooperation on this measure.
On Monday, the Senate Government and Environment Committee considered
SB 1210 (municipalities; municipal policies; shared revenues).
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Judy Burges (R- Sun City West), requires the Ombudsman-Citizen's Aide or an independent auditor to
investigate complaints of a municipality violating its personnel or purchasing policies. Violations result in at least 10% of a
municipality's state shared revenue being withheld until the entity is deemed to be in compliance with their policies. The League
testified in opposition to bill. The measure ignores existing administrative and legal pathways for issue resolution and instead
creates additional bureaucracy for the state and local governments. Additionally, the withholding of state shared revenues bears no
logical connection with the issue at hand, and would punish all taxpayers for an unsubstantiated violation by an individual.
Unfortunately, the bill passed out of committee on a 4-3 vote.
On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce, Energy and Military Committee failed
SB 1190 (alarm contractor regulation) by a vote of 2-5. The
bill removes the regulatory authority of alarm businesses and agents from the Board of Technical Registration and allows an alarm
company to submit a sworn affidavit that the applicant conducts criminal background checks for each employee in order to obtain a
contractor's license. It also states that the applicant is required to file the affidavit only once and is not required to file
subsequent affidavits. The League opposed the bill because it would have lessened public safety and further infringed on local
Other Bills of Note
(All bills being actively monitored by the League can be found here.)
Bill Number - Short Title - Subject(s)
HB 2005: political subdivision entities; public access - transparency
HB 2113: municipal annexation; size; exception - general government
HB 2138: municipalities; right-of-way; transfer - general government
HB 2280: employee benefits; state preemption - personnel
SB 1231: public buildings; construction; indemnity - general government
SB 1321: residential energy efficiency; building codes - regulations
Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
Forward your comments or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.