Report to Citizens

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District 1 Newsletter

Report to the Citizens of District 1

Fall 2013


A Breakdown of the County Budget

Supervisor Barney has made the County budget one of his top priorities. Beginning in August, he has been systematically meeting with each County department to discuss individual budgets in greater depth. This has resulted in increased trust and understanding, as well as opportunities to discuss his core philosophy of fiscal responsibility and restraint.

County Budget at a Glance

Where our revenue comes from

Sources of Funds

Maricopa County’s two major sources of revenue are property tax and its share of the sales, vehicle license and highway user taxes collected by the State of Arizona.  Aside from the 5.94% sales tax used for construction and operation of detention facilities, the County does not have a sales tax of its own.  For a more detailed view of County revenues, click here.


How our revenue is spent

Uses of Funds

County government’s primary responsibility is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. About 75% of every dollar we spend goes to law enforcement, court and probation operations, and to regulate food and environmental safety.  The remaining 25% funds everything else and, with some exceptions, is primarily focused on the unincorporated County.  For more information, click here.


Understanding Property Taxes

FY 2013 County controlled property taxes make up less than 12% of total property taxes.

Property Taxes

The Board of Supervisors followed their tax cutting pledge in setting the county property tax rate – which resulted in a $33 million drop in taxes countywide.

In Arizona, counties are obligated to collect property taxes on behalf of the various jurisdictions that impose them.  Thus, Maricopa County collects property taxes for cities, school districts, community colleges, special improvement districts and even the State of Arizona. This can lead to some confusion as to who is responsible when property taxes go up. 

The portion of your property tax bill that is used to fund Maricopa County government, and which is set by the Board of Supervisors, is about 11.7%. This includes not only general County government, but the Flood Control and Library Districts as well.  Although it is a small part of the overall pie, it is still a sizable amount.

Tax Cut

In Fiscal Year 2013, property taxes collected by the Maricopa County Treasurer, amounted to more than $4 billion.  Of that amount, $496.6 million went to fund County government.  In the current Fiscal Year 2014, however, Supervisor Barney and the other members of the Board of Supervisors voted on a budget that will result in an actual decrease in the county portion of your tax bill. 

To learn more about the property taxes levied on your home or business or get a copy of your actual property tax statement, click here.


Increasing Efficiency

Under the direction of the Board of Supervisors, a formal task force has been put together to review Planning and Development processes and services and identify opportunities to reduce regulation and improve customer service. The task force includes both members our Planning and Development staff and an outstanding group of community stakeholders. Supervisor Barney and Supervisor Chucri have been an integral part of this process. The Task Force is currently broken into the following subcommittees for review:

  • Drainage
  • Customer Service
  • Regulatory Reform
  • Permitting

The Development Ad Hoc Task Force is on track to bring forth written recommendations to the Board of Supervisors by the end of the year.

If you have comments or suggestions that you wish to be considered, please email


In the Community

Legislative District 12

This fall, Supervisor Barney has had many opportunities to share the work he and his colleagues are engaged in here at Maricopa County. In September he spoke at the Sun Lakes Republican Club, Chandler Rotary, and Legislative District 12.

He has also been a strong presence representing Maricopa County at many community events including the Town of Gilbert’s Mayors Ambassador Forum, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Sun Lakes Country Club Board of Directors luncheon, and the groundbreaking of the new LDS Institute at ASU’s Poly Tech Campus.

ASU Poly Tech

Easing Regulation

On September 25th the Board of Supervisors voted to approve a six-month trial permit for new restaurants located in buildings not specifically designed or constructed for dining. The concept known as “adaptive reuse” has seen great success in Phoenix, Scottsdale and elsewhere allowing for some of the Valley’s most interesting restaurants to spring up in old post offices, banks, beauty parlors and private homes. 

“This change to the regulatory code is a great way to encourage innovation, while not sacrificing safety standards,” explained Supervisor Barney.

During the six-month trial permit period, the restaurants would be subjected to at least two county health inspections. The trial permit expires after six months. If the restaurant qualifies, it will transition into a regular 12-month permit. In addition, during the permit time, the establishment must comply with the same high health and safety standards (like food temperature, hygiene and other health risk-related items) that the department demands of any restaurant or food establishment. 


Department Spotlight - Maricopa County Air Quality

AQ Desert

The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) was established as a result of the Federal Clean Air Act. The department attainment of these federal standards ensures both clean air for our citizens, as well the county not having to pay fines for non-compliance.

MCAQD processes more than 6000 air quality permits each year. It also operates 24 air monitoring sites and performs more than 10,000 compliance inspections per year.

The “Air Quality Rapid Response Program” was established in 2010 and is a public-private partnership using email and text alerts to notify subscribers when PM10 (“dust”) levels at an air quality monitor have reached high levels. Over 7,000 subscribers from all walks of life participate in this program. The EPA awarded the department a Clean Air Excellence Award for this program in 2012. 

Download AQ App

MCAQD is also the first department in Maricopa County to produce a mobile app, providing a resource that easily allows residents to access real-time information about the air they breathe. And submit complaints on the go.  This unique push-pull app with over 6,000 downloads won a 2013 American Marketing Association Spectrum Award.

  For more information, click here.  


Thank you to our Community Library Partners

The Maricopa County Library District provides access to a wealth of informational and educational resources for people of all ages and backgrounds so that they may have the opportunity to expand their horizons through reading and learning.

“We look at the donations we accept every week for the Maricopa County Library System and are grateful,” said Supervisor Barney.  We realize that beneath and behind every donation are people who are working hard to serve and make a difference.  We talk about a lot of big numbers here at Maricopa County, but I don’t want the little ones to get lost. Your generosity is appreciated.” 


Pillars of Honor Ceremony

The County recently held a “Pillars of Honor” Ceremony to celebrate 29 current and former employees. Honorees were divided into three groups: those who have retired with 30 or more years of service to Maricopa County, those who have received significant regional or national recognition and those who have lost their lives during service. Concrete pillars are located in front of the Board of Supervisors Auditorium to honor these honorees.

“These pillars honor the outstanding service Maricopa County employees deliver to the community day in and day out,” said Supervisor Barney.  

Pillars of Honor

Open Boards & Commissions

District 1 has the following open volunteer board position:

Travel Reduction Program Regional Taskforce 

Employers with 50 or more workers in Maricopa County are obligated by State law to implement a Trip Reduction Plan to encourage alternate ways for their employees to commute to and from work.  The objective of the Maricopa County Travel Reduction Program (TRP) Regional Task Force is to review, approve, enforce and make recommendations to the annual Trip Reduction Plans submitted by such employers.  If you live in District 1 and have an interest in public service and cleaner air, please contact us at the number below.  Visit the Travel Reduction Program (TRP) Regional Task Force page for more information.

Please let us know how we can better serve you.

Best regards,

Denny Barney, District 1
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors