Marana completes police facility construction, repeals half-cent sales tax

The Marana Town Council voted unanimously to repeal the half-cent sales tax put in place to fund the new Town of Marana Police Facility following the facility’s completion. The decision was made at the October 16 Town Council meeting and will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

“A promise made, a promise kept,” said Marana Mayor Ed Honea.

In April 2015, Town Council approved the sales tax increase to fund the bulk of the police facility project. The sunset tax was designed to raise $18 million dollars to build the facility and then be repealed as soon as the necessary funds were collected. The temporary tax increase went into effect on July 1, 2015.

Based upon current collections and conservative estimates from the independent tax analysis and forecast report by Elliott D. Pollack & Company, the Town anticipates that the one-half percent sales tax will generate the remaining portion of the targeted $18 Million with the December 2018 collections.

“I believe this is a pretty significant achievement to the community,” said Deputy Town Manager Erik Montague in his presentation to Town Council. “This is the second time in my time here that we have fulfilled our promise to the community where we had a temporary tax for a specific purpose.”

The sales tax increase came after nearly a year of public outreach and research. At the July 1, 2014 council meeting, Town Council requested a public outreach plan be developed, and the following month that plan was presented and approved by Council. Marana Police Chief Terry Rozema met with local residents and business leaders and garnered the necessary support to build the project. This public outreach included public meetings, direct business outreach, media interviews, survey cards, and open houses to show the need for the new facility.

With public and business support for the project, Town Council voted in February 2015 to initiate the process to adopt the dedicated one-half percent sales tax to be used exclusively for the design and construction, fixtures, furniture and equipment for a new police department building, and in April they finalized the tax.

Council required that the proceeds from the tax increase be placed in a newly established fund dedicated to building the police facility.  Any collections in excess of $18,000,000 will be used for other costs related to the new police building, including but not limited to operating costs, landscaping, and design and construction of drainage improvements.

The Marana Police Department will hold their dedication ceremony for the new facility on Wednesday, November 14.