Now is the time to take a stand with Transparent Payson.Who we are:
We are citizens of Payson, Arizona, striving to make our local government more transparent. We believe in the people voting on what happens with their money, their land, and their town. We believe that elected officials are there to serve the public; as such, we should have a voice in making decisions that affect us all. We are nonpartisan/bipartisan with no party affiliation, no hidden agenda. We believe in Payson, Arizona, and its future. We support growth that will better serve all its citizens while remaining financially sound. As a 527 nonprofit PAC, we were responsible for successfully enacting Propositions 401 and 402 in 2018. A short history of our group can be found here.
Fundamentally, we are responsible for Propositions 401 and 402 and their defense. We have been compelled to become a voters' rights group in that defense. The implications for Payson appear limited to the validity of Propositions 401 and 402 and their enactment. At the state level, we suspect the implications of our effort have a much more significant impact. That is, do citizens, as allowed by law, have the ability to initiate law? Is that law then valid? Can it be repealed by Town Council or any legislative group?
There was recently an attempt by the Town of Payson to repeal these ballot initiatives. With the help of an attorney, we are fighting that effort in Superior Court; we still have much work to do to defend your voting rights.
We are defending the rights of Payson citizens on large-scale, publicly funded projects that may be placed on public lands via long-term leases to third parties. Our goal is NOT to prevent such projects but to ensure transparency in all negotiations, discussions, and contracts that affect your town. If the citizens approve the funding through an election, or if the citizens approve the lease of public land to complete the project, we would support that effort. We are protecting YOU – the voter.
Our vision is that our leaders provide all the information as to the proposed spending of Town money as well as the utilization of Town property so that we, the citizens, can choose how and where our money and our land are utilized.
We welcome YOUR involvement in this process. Dare we say, support the cause.
I appreciate your consideration.
Jeffrey S. Aal
Chairperson, Transparent Payson
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September 16, 2023
We seem to have found the motivation for the purported repeal of Proposition 402.
Transparent Payson has sometimes been labeled “conjecture,” “speculation,” and other choice things. The fiscal issues facing our community are coming into focus every day. The current issue? A potential 1% sales tax increase. The sales tax (TPT) rate for Payson is 9.48%. If approved by the Town Council, the rate will be 10.48%. Let’s call it 10.5%. Remember, unlike many places, Payson taxes food, which will be 3.88% on a head of lettuce or a gallon of milk. Let’s call that 4%. Feed your family, and the Town of Payson will take a bigger nibble off your plates at the table.
So, where do the current “conjecture” and “speculation” come from? The Town of Payson has a Capital Improvement Project Citizen Advisory Committee (CIPCAC), as discussed here. The TOP also had a thirty-one percent (31%) budget increase. We stated:
"To our knowledge, there has been little revealed about the $18M funding gap between years and how it will be resolved."
That budget was passed in July. The current budget is $59 million. Next year’s budget is over $77 million the budget increase is discussed here. Curiously, a 1% sales tax/TPT increase, and the $20M anticipated, cover the $18M shortfall between the two budgets. Coincidence?
If the Payson sales tax/TPT is increased by 1%, the TOP can secure a bond set against the anticipated revenue to have access to the current cash value as a lump sum.
So, a suggestion to remove Propositions 401 and 402 in February, the Propositions were purportedly repealed in April, a budget increase was proposed and adopted by July, in August an RFP/RFQ was sent out for a pool design and in September a presentation of a 1% sales tax/TPT is proposed. Are citizens paying attention yet? Do you see why we suspect it is a done deal? Likely not “conjecture” or “speculation.”
Learn more here.
Again, thank you so much for the support. It all helps, whether donations or simply spreading the word. You are appreciated.
Jeffrey S. Aal
Chairperson, Transparent Payson