A bill introduced in the Arizona Legislature aims to prevent local cities and counties from asking voters for tax hikes outside of statewide elections, reports the Arizona Daily Star.
HB 2495 would change existing law that permits four dates per year for local elections by requiring that cities and counties limit ballot measures for increased taxes to the regular election in November, and only every other year.
Proponents of the bill say it will consolidate local elections with state elections, saving money and maximizing voter turnout.
“This is about increasing taxes,” House Speaker J.D. Mesnard told the Arizona Daily Star. “So this is a way to protect taxpayers. It is a way to encourage voter turnout to make sure if we’re going to increase taxes, that folks are actually showing up to an election and it’s not being done below the radar.”
But the bill faces criticism from people who feel it could cause delays on pressing tax issues local governments need to bring before its voters.
Even if the bill becomes law, it could prove difficult to enforce in the state’s 18 charter cities—including Tucson, Phoenix, Tempe, Flagstaff and Scottsdale—which are allowed to make many of their own decisions.