It’s only healthy that there is back-and-forth sentiment and debate on the merits of Clarkdale’s Proposition 445, the $6 million general obligation bond designed to fund a much-needed street repair and maintenance program for the town.
What’s been lost in the discussion about the merits, or lack, of this tax-and-spend plan is a history lesson on Clarkdale’s reliance on secondary tax assessments to keep the town’s infrastructure in good working order.
The answer to that question is “hardly ever.”
In fact, it has been 30 years since Clarkdale last went to voters asking for financial help to keep its house in order.
The rallying cry of opponents to Prop. 445 is that Clarkdale needs to make do with the taxes it already receives through transaction and primary property levies.
That fact of the matter is Clarkdale already does exactly that, probably much better than most municipalities in Arizona.
It’s rare for the town to go to the voters asking for a secondary tax assessment. The last time Clarkdale voters approved a general obligation bond was in 1988 for repairs to the Clark Memorial Clubhouse, a remodel and repair of Clarkdale Town Hall, and to pay off the lease-purchase obligation of Town Hall.
The total amount of that bond was $300,000.
Prior to that, Clarkdale voters approved a $176,000 general obligation bond in 1976.
In the past 40-plus years, the Town of Clarkdale has gone to the voters with hat in hand only twice, and collectively asked for less than half a million dollars.
Compared to other cities and towns in Arizona, Clarkdale residents have gotten off easy.
So, when weighing the merits of Proposition 445, take a good look at the condition of the streets and roads in Clarkdale and ask yourself if the town deserves better.
Also, please give careful consideration to just how often the Town Council makes such a tax-and-spend request of its citizenry.
This is a rare occurrence in Clarkdale.
That in itself should speak volumes to the reality of the need.