Issue 4 - February 6, 2015 PRINT VERSION

Legislative Overview

As we conclude the fourth week of session, the legislature is in full operational mode, with long committee agendas and floor activity. To date, 1083 bills and 76 memorials and resolutions have been introduced. The Senate deadline for bill introduction was February 2nd, and the similar House deadline is February 9th. There is still only one bill signed by the Governor.

Residential Rental

The House Ways and Means Committee passed HB 2254 (municipal tax exemption; residential lease) Monday afternoon by a vote of 5-4. Sponsored by Representative Darin Mitchell (R-Litchfield Park), this bill prohibits municipalities from imposing a residential rental tax and requires those that already have this tax to reduce the rate by 25% each year until the rate is zero. Our research indicates a devastating revenue loss of at least $87 million to our cities and towns. Mayor Lewis of Gilbert, Mayor Meck of Buckeye, and Mayor Price of Maricopa all testified in opposition to the measure, citing severe financial harm to their respective municipalities. The bill will now proceed to the Rules Committee. We strongly encourage you to make your opposition known to your legislators.

TPT Reform

Following weeks of intense negotiations involving the League and many stakeholders, a pair of bills have been introduced to clarify construction contracting issues emerging from the TPT reform legislation of the last two years. SB 1446 TPT reform; contractors is sponsored by Senator Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria) and HB 2590 TPT reform; contractors is sponsored by Representative Karen Fann (R-Prescott). The bills clarify the definitions of terms such as "alteration" and "replacement," and provide a bright-line test for both residential and commercial projects to be able to determine when they fall into those categories or are considered prime contracting. It also clarifies which types of business owners are required to have a TPT license. The bill allows licensed contractors who are doing alteration projects to continue buying all materials without tax and requires them to pay retail TPT to the jurisdiction where the project is being done. The two bills contain identical language so they can be quickly advanced to Governor Ducey for his signature.

Photo Radar

On February 4th SB 1167 photo radar; prohibition passed the Senate Public Safety and Military Technology Committee by a vote of 5-1. Sponsored by Sen. Kelly Ward (R - Lake Havasu City), the bill prohibits local authorities and state agencies from using a photo enforcement system to identify red light and speed limit violators. The League opposed the bill and had expert testimony on the efficacy of photo enforcement systems, but to no avail. The bill goes on to the Rules Committee.

Public Agency Indemnification

On Monday, the House County and Municipal Affairs Committee passed HB 2324 intergovernmental agreements; public agency indemnification, by a vote of 8-0. Sponsored by Rep. Weninger (R - Chandler), the bill states that an intergovernmental agreement may require one public agency to defend, indemnify or hold harmless the other public agency for liabilities, damages, losses and costs only to the extent caused by negligence, recklessness or intentional wrongful conduct. The League supported the bill as it is a League Resolution and will result in the appropriate parties being held liable. The bill now moves to the Rules Committee.

Municipal Elections

On Monday, the House Elections Committee passed HB 2543 municipal elections; majority vote calculation, by a vote of 6-0. Sponsored by Rep. Ugenti (R - Scottsdale), the bill establishes a formula for determining the majority of votes cast in municipal elections for the office of mayor or city council. If more candidates receive a majority of votes than there are seats to be filled for that office, the candidates who receive the highest number of votes shall be declared elected to that office. If no candidates or not enough candidates receive the majority of votes cast, the number of candidates who advance to the general or runoff election must be equal to twice the number of seats to be filled. The League supported the bill as it is a League Resolution and will save taxpayer dollars by eliminating unnecessary elections. The bill now moves to the Rules Committee.

Legislative Bill Monitoring

(All bills being actively monitored by the League can be found here.)

HB 2254 municipal tax exemption; residential lease
SB 1167 photo enforcement; prohibition
HB 2324 intergovernmental agreements; public agency indemnification
HB 2543 municipal elections; majority vote calculation
Legislative Bulletin is published by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns.
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Issue 4 - February 6, 2015
Issue 4 - February 6, 2015
Issue 4 - February 6, 2015
Issue 4 - February 6, 2015
Issue 4 - February 6, 2015