Prescott, Arizona - The Stand for Prescott organizers for the Political Action Committee Yes on 443 announced recently that four local organizations have endorsed voting yes on Proposition 443. The Prescott Chamber of Commerce, Prescott Area Association of REALTORS, Friends of Prescott Library and Prescott Downtown Partnership are backing the efforts of the group who are concerned citizens and community leaders wishing to pass the initiative to pay down the mounting unfunded liability of 78.4+ million of the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS). If Prop 443 passes, a ¾ a penny sales tax, which would sunset in 10 years or sooner, and would generate revenue dedicated to paying down the debt.
“As REALTORS we feel we have a social responsibility to preserve the future of our community. If we do not adequately provide for our police, fire and EMT services, it may affect the desirability of our community,” stated Brad Bergamini, President of the Prescott Area Association of REALTORS.
When asked to comment, Prescott Downtown Partnership, Inc. Executive Board President Bill McCleary said: “We owe this debt to our first responders who are not only employees of Prescott but our friends and neighbors. All of us need to pay our bills and a city is no exception. Proposition 443 is the best way to settle our debt in the most equitable manner.”
The PAC was organized early this year to support the August 29th primary ballot initiative. “We’re thrilled with these endorsements and we’re seeing support from more and more people in the community who are taking the time to understand the issue of what we are facing. No one likes new taxes, but this is truly the best solution for paying down the PSPRS unfunded liability,” stated Cecelia Jernegan, co-chair of Stand for Prescott.
The City of Prescott has been challenged with this crushing and it’s to the point where the PSPRS payments have placed a severe burden on the City’s General Fund which covers police, fire, library, parks & recreation – those assets which create the quality of life Prescottonians and tourists enjoy. Making these payments has strained the City’s ability to keep parks operating, special events scheduled, and the public library open full time. For several months, the City “browned out” fire stations due to limited fire fighter staff. Community policing has also been forced to scale back. This year the city was obligated to pay $6.5 million to service this debt. Next year the projected payment is $7.85 million. When 22% of the General Fund is required to service debt, it does not take long for quality of life assets to begin to diminish. For more information visit standforprescott.com