ORO VALLEY- A public meeting was held Wednesday night in Oro Valley to discuss Proposition 454.
According to the Town of Oro Valley website, Prop. 454 would authorize the issuance and sale of $17 million in bonds to fund improvements to Naranja Park.
The bonds would be repaid through a property tax over 20 years.
The proposed plan includes three multi-sport fields, four baseball fields, lighting, restrooms, shade structures, mass grading, utility systems, parking lots and access drives, buildings and structures, pedestrian improvements, landscape and irrigation, site furnishings, a playground and a path, extending from Naranja Dr. to Tangerine Rd.
Brian Mitchell is a youth sports coach in support of Prop. 454. Mitchell said there are not enough field for youth sports. He said some teams have to travel 40 minutes for practice.
“Our football program does not have a home. Oro valley little league does not have a home. Oro valley little league plays up in Catalina with 300 kids. CDO little league, which is in Oro Valley as well, has 450 kids. There's not enough room for everybody,” said Mitchell.
To learn more about YES on 454, click here.
A group in opposition to Prop. 454 started a movement called ‘Ax the Tax’. According to the group’s website, Oro Valley was “founded in 1974 on the concept that residents would not have property taxes.”
A Town of Oro Valley official confirmed Oro Valley has never levied a property tax.
If Prop. 454 passes in November, those living in Oro Valley would pay a property tax. For example, homeowners that own a home worth $250,000 would be subject to a $4.50 property tax each month for 20 years.
Oro Valley currently has a plan in place to expand Naranja Park fields and amenities.
The current plan uses one-time revenues for one-time expenses, meaning the town is chipping away at the cost of improvements.
Under the 'pay as you go' plan, the project would take 10 to 15 years to complete.
A town official said Prop. 454 would expedite completion. If passed, the project would be completed in two to three years.
Oro Valley’s Town Manager, Mary Jacobs, released a statement. It reads, “Oro Valley has ended every fiscal year in the black since 2011, so we are in a strong financial position; however, a project of this magnitude, which meets the community's request, means a sizable, upfront investment of $17 million. So on November 7, Oro Valley voters will decide if that's something they want to invest in.”
Voters must register by Oct. 9.