On Aug. 26, Chandler voters will have the option to again allow the city determine its own way to spend its money.
Proposition 470 would let the Chandler City Council to dictate its own budget instead of relying on an antiquated formula based on population and inflation developed by the state in 1980, said Greg Westrum, Chandler budget manager.
The local alternative expenditure limitation, known as Home Rule Option, would grant the city better control over its budget and allow it to spend all of the money it brings in. Without it, the city would not be allowed to spend all of its revenue.
While Home Rule Option affects the budget, it does not increase or decrease taxes. It simply governs what the city is allowed to spend.
Voters have approved Home Rule Option the last eight consecutive times it has appeared on the ballot since 1982.
“This isn’t a carte blanche to go spend a lot of money,” vice mayor Rick Heumann said. “This is giving your council and our staff (the ability) to set our budget … It’s really allowing the elected officials to do their job.”
The 2015-16 budget for the city of Chandler is $571.4 million and, with Home Rule Option, the city would be able to spend all of that money because it is not following the state formula. However, were Proposition 470 to fail, the city would only be allowed to spend $467.3 million according to the state formula, which is based on population growth and inflation.
“We would have to basically pull out of our budget $100 million, which would mean we’d be cutting police, we’d be cutting fire, we’d be cutting our parks, we’d be cutting our libraries,” Heumann said. “Even the fact that the money was coming in, we wouldn’t be allowed to spend it.”
In the voter pamphlet that was distributed to inform voters about Proposition 470, no arguments were submitted against the proposition while three arguments were submitted in favor of it.
Heumann said that if the proposition were not to pass, it would be “a major devastation to the city.”
Proposition 470 is the only proposition on the ballot.
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