In 1999 voters approved the creation of a new TIF district; the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District. This vote authorized the new TIF district to receive State-shared funds derived from transaction privilege taxes (i.e. sales tax) collected from within the District’s boundaries under the authority of the City of Tucson. The taxpayers approved the TIF district’s $80 million dollar project to revitalize Tucson, however, the City of Tucson’s controlled Rio Nuevo spent $230 million dollars and abandoned many of the voter’s projects so the legislature took control.
The Governor and state Legislature took the oversight away from the City of Tucson, with overwhelming support on a vote of 51-4 in the House and 23-4 in the Senate, after 10 years of mismanagement, incomplete projects, and millions of dollars by the City of Tucson.
The bill created a newly reconstituted Rio Nuevo District Board under the State’s authority in March of 2010. The Governor, the President of the State Senate, and the Speaker of the State House of Representatives now appoints the members of the Board of Directors of the Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities Districts. The Board of Directors consists of up to nine board members and five of the board of directors must reside in the municipality in which the district is located.
The Legislature approved more control on the funds and strengthened the Legislature’s control through their appointed Board of Directors. Despite passing on a vote of 51-4 in the House and 23-4 in the Senate, it was vetoed because of gubernatorial concerns about non-Rio-Nuevo parts of the budget package. The second time around, it passed with overwhelming support on a vote of 51-4 in the House and 23-4 in the Senate.