Local News

Mayor Vail’s Plans To Distribute Town Funds To Residents Meets With Council Opposition

April 28, 2022

As a tourist destination with a very small population, Tusayan is normally in a unique position of collecting surplus sales tax dollars. Mayor Clarinda Vail has been wanting to use a portion of that surplus to distribute directly to residents. At a recent Town Council work session, she again requested that this proposal be considered as the Town of Tusayan draws up its budget. That’s despite rumors that the Arizona League of Cities and Towns may oppose the concept

Mayor Vail stated, “Let’s go push it. With a lot that the town has going on I don’t want to jump into a legal fight either. But until you actually do it you won’t see. We’ve heard threats that the League of Cities and Towns may do something. But they may not, especially what has changed with COVID. If they (the League of Cities and Towns) wants to fight me they can fight me.”

Councilman Greg Brush is also supportive. Councilwoman Becky Wirth is not on board fearing lawsuits.

Vice Mayor Brady Harris is opposed the idea questioning the legality, “If the majority of the council wants to go for it so be it. I strongly caution against it.”

The idea is also opposed by Councilman Robb Baldosky. 

Tusayan, at Mayor Vail’s urging, recently used federal COVID relief funds to directly benefit residents impacted by the pandemic.

In light of other governments providing relief to their residents, Vail fees the same can and should be done with local sales tax dollars as a matter of local control. She said, “The money that is generated through businesses is local …it’s our local control. It’s our money.”

An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Councilwoman Wirth supported the plan.