Arizona Cities Working On Special Legislation To Use State Population Data For Shared Money
Each year Arizona distributes state-shared revenues to cities and towns based on their population. That data is based on the most recent complete census.
Some cities are worried that the 2010 numbers are now outdated and want an updated count. Several Valley cities are moving forward with a special census.
Eight cities opted to pay for the special census in hopes of getting a bigger share of state money. That could be millions of dollars every year.
Unlike the other cities, Phoenix and Mesa originally decided not to have the U.S. Census Bureau do a recount. Now those two and other cities want to use state population estimates to determine revenue sharing.
State demographer Jim Chang said this isn’t the first time.
“In the past three decades, basically, the 2000s, 1990s and 1980s each time there was special legislation that was passed in time for them to be able to use the state estimates as a basis for population,” Chang said.
Current state law requires population for revenue sharing to be based on federal census data. To use state population estimates, the Legislature would need to change current law. If state law changes, the cities already signed up for the federal census could drop out.