Community News

Home Rule on the ballot

August 20, 2014

By Mayor Greg Byran

As part of the Primary Election on August 26, 2014, the Town of Tusayan will ask voters to once again approve the alternative expenditure limitation or more commonly known as the Home Rule option for financing the town’s programs and projects.  A little background on this law is at a special election held in June 1980, Arizona voters approved a constitutional amendment designed to limit the annual expenditures of all Arizona cities and towns.  This was to be done using a formula that adjusted the municipality’s actual expenditures of local revenues (generally using fiscal year 1979-80 as the base-year) and permitted increased spending limits based on population growth and inflation added to that base year.
Recognizing that a single formula might not be appropriate for all cities and towns, the amendment included some specific alternatives whereby cities and towns could make their own annual budget decisions “at home” if they felt the state formula would not be appropriate locally. Under this option the Tusayan Town Council can adopt a local spending limit and present it to their voters for approval (election held every four years).

It is important to note, all cities and towns in Arizona are required to have a balanced budget where spending cannot exceed available revenues. When Tusayan voters approve exceeding the state-imposed spending limitation, the Town Council – elected by Tusayan’s citizens – adopts an annual budget limit each year after a public hearing allowing citizens’ input. That limit, based upon available revenues, cannot be exceeded in any given year. The Council then adopts a budget based upon that limit.


The Home Rule Option is a method of limiting local spending. The proposal does not permit the Town to spend more than it receives, and will not result in an increase in taxes or the creation of new taxes. Actual expenditures will continue to be subject to the public budgeting process and the Town’s fiscal policies. Tusayan voters originally approved a local alternative to the expenditure limit after incorporation in 2010.  The budget alternatives offered in the original legislation were intended to allow communities like Tusayan the option to establish a budget that could provide services important to the more than 4 ½ million visitors who travel through and utilize our community to relax and refresh from their journey to experience the Grand Canyon, as well as to provide adequate funding to address the needs of Tusayan’s citizens.