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Q and A for May 18 ballot measures on Public Safety


Which questions on the May 18 ballot are about public safety?
Question 3 is related to public safety. It proposes raising the sales tax rate by 0.10 
percent (or 10 cents for every $100 in purchases) for public safety services, including 
police, fire and code enforcement services and related capital needs.
How will the public safety tax proposed in Question 3 be used?
It will supplement current city dollars to provide increased police and fire protection, 
emergency medical services and enforcement of the city’s property maintenance code.
How much will the tax raise?
The city staff estimates it will raise approximately $8 million annually in today’s dollars.
How long will it last?
The tax does not have an expiration date.

Is this tax needed to fund the transition to a new municipal fire department?
No. Scottsdale will use existing funds for the costs to transition and operate a municipal 
fire department. Additional revenue from the proposed tax would be used for improvements 
to fire and emergency medical services.

How will the city decide the best uses for the funds from the new tax?
The City Council will make the final decisions on the use of the funds during the annual 
budget process, which allows ample opportunity for citizen input.

Has the city identified immediate public safety needs?
Yes. The City Council is considering a proposed budget that would take effect July 1. 
The Council will make final decisions on the budget in June, after the election. If voters 
approve the tax, the budget proposes using revenues in the next year to pay for the 
following:
.. 13 additional police officers and supervisors for District 1, the southernmost of 
Scottsdale’s three police districts, to meet a variety of needs specifically identified 
for this area.
.. 8 additional police officers to enforce traffic laws, especially in neighborhoods and 
high-accident areas and funding to expand the Focus on Safety photo radar program
.. 8 additional officers to patrol city parks and open space
.. 7 additional officers to focus on computer technology related crime
.. 4 new positions to support City Court services, police records, the police crime 
laboratory and security at public facilities
.. 2 additional code inspectors to help enforce the city’s property maintenance codes, 
especially in neighborhoods

What about future public safety needs?
Several long-range studies and plans will guide the city in establishing priorities for 
future years. This year’s budget recommendations for police funding, for example, 
come from a five-year strategic plan adopted by the Police Department after extensive 
public involvement. The city also has conducted studies of fire service and emergency 
medical needs, and it continues to refine this information. A citizens task force 
reviewing these services in 2003 recommended additional firefighters, improvements 
in fire and emergency medical response times and upgraded radio systems. Funds 
from the proposed tax could be used to implement these and other improvements.

Are there restrictions on the use of the tax?
The proceeds of the tax can be used for no purposes other than public safety. 
The tax proceeds can be used to hire additional police officers, firefighters or 
code enforcement officers, and for support personnel and new equipment or 
facilities that support these employees. Initially, the city proposes using a 
large portion of the tax to hire additional police officers.

For more information, call the Communications and Public Affairs Office 
at 480-312-2335.

4/7/04