Paul's Note: Friday January 26, 2018

Paul’s Note

Friday, January 26, 2018


  • Paul’s Note
  • Ward 3 Events
  • Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings
  • City-Wide Events
  • Did You Know?



Comments on January 23rd Study Session

There are two identical bills in the State Senate and House that would add a fee to vehicle registrations to fund our state highway patrol. This is expected to eliminate the “sweeps” of Highway User Revenue Funds (HURF) that the state has used to fund the state highway patrol in the past (and the same sweep is included in the Governor’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year).

The problem is that the bills would also eliminate Arizona’s incentive for alt-fuel vehicles (mostly electric and CNG). Gas and diesel vehicles pay a vehicle license tax (VLT) based on 60% of the vehicle’s value in the first year but alt-fuel vehicles pay a VLT based on 1% of the vehicle’s value in the first year. There are other fees that gas and diesel vehicle owners pay and alt-fuel vehicle owners do not. Both bills would equalize the VLT, removing the current incentive for alt-fuel vehicles.

Andrew Greenhill, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, asked Mayor and Council for guidance on Tucson’s position on these bills at the meeting on January 23rd. I thought long and hard because it would mean about $4.5 million in additional money for road repairs in Tucson but it would damage our ability to clean our air and reduce our carbon footprint with electric and CNG vehicles. As you know, electrification of transportation is an energy and environmental goal of mine.

I concluded that these bills present Tucson with a true Hobson’s choice (a choice of taking what is available or nothing at all). If we insist on preserving the alt-fuel vehicle incentives and therefore oppose these bills, we risk losing $4.5 million of badly needed money for road repairs. Mr. Greenhill tells me that these bills stand a reasonable chance of passing and there is currently no alternative bill that would prevent the HURF sweeps while retaining the alt-fuel vehicle incentives.

So I made a motion to support HB 2166 and SB 1146 but to seek an amendment to each of those bills to maintain the current alt-fuel vehicle incentives. I said “Restoring HURF funding is a critical priority for Mayor and Council and is a top legislative priority. If these bills must be passed as they are, it is still a win for the City of Tucson and we should support them. But it would be more in line with the city’s environmental policies if we could increase available funding for HURF without removing existing alt-fuel vehicle incentives. There will be a time for the elimination of incentives for alt-fuel vehicles, but they’re still more expensive than conventionally fueled vehicles. Now is not that time.”

I join the League of Arizona Cities and Towns in supporting these bills, although it is a painful choice for me.

As a result of the fact that only five members of Mayor and Council were in attendance, we were unable to take action on my motion.

- Paul D.



Ward 3 Events: 


Ward 3 Open House

Monday, January 29th


Ward 3 Council Office

1510 E. Grant Rd


Council Member Paul Durham and the Ward 3 staff invite you to join us for an opportunity to get to know each other, talk over community issues, and engage in some informal brainstorming about ways to make our neighborhoods better.


Mansfield Park Community Garden Day

Saturday, January 27th

11am - 2pm

2200 N 4th Ave


Northwest Neighborhood will be celebrating their beautiful new sculptural fence by local artist Troy Neiman of BICAS, encouraging new friends to join the community garden, enjoying a variety of musical performances, and learning from organizations in our area like Tucson Cooks, a new community kitchen and teaching space on Stone Ave. Face painting and free lunch and drinks!


Coffee with a Cop

Wednesday, January 31st

7am – 9am

Panera Bread

4362 N. Oracle Rd


Join your neighbors and police officers for coffee and conversation.

No agenda or speeches, just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers in your neighborhood. For any questions pertaining to the event please contact Operations Division West at 791-4467.


Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program Returns to Ward 3


February 3rd – April 14th

9am – 1 pm

Ward 3 Council Office

1510 E. Grant Rd


The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program through United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona provides FREE, quality tax preparation from IRS-certified preparers to individuals and families earning up to $66,000 annually. United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona’s VITA program helps taxpayers access all tax credits for which they are eligible – including the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which has been recognized as the single most powerful tool to lift children out of poverty.




Ward 3 Neighborhood Association/Coalition Meetings:


Alvernon Grant Initiative Tuesday Feb. 13th 6pm, Church of the Brethren, 2200 N Dodge Blvd.


Flowing Wells NA  Thursday Feb. 15th 6pm, Ellie Towne Center, 1660 W Ruthrauff Rd.


Mountain View NA  Thursday Feb. 15th 6pm, Habitat for Humanity, 3501 N Mountain




City-Wide Events:


Tucson’s Annual Gem Shows Begins


The Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase begins Saturday, Jan. 27, and continues through Sunday, Feb. 11. During that time, visitors and residents come to hunt for jewelry, jewelry-making supplies, bargain-priced collectibles, and rare treasures. Shows take place at dozens of locations throughout the Tucson area. Most are open to the public with free admission. The showcase concludes with the 64th annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show at the Tucson Convention Center, Feb. 8-11. The Official Tucson Gem Show Guide app (see links below) provides show locations, hours of operation, transportation options, and a guide to local dining. Park Tucson offers GemRide, a free shuttle service that connects convenient parking locations with most of the shows.
Visit Tucson event listing:
Official Gem Show Guide app:
Park Tucson Gem Show Parking and Free GemRide Shuttle:
Tucson Gem and Mineral Show:




Did You Know...?


Food Donation Box in the Ward 3 Community Room


Food donations can be dropped in the Community Room box Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. The Community Food Bank welcomes your donations of nonperishable items, as 1 in 4 children in Arizona are at risk for hunger, and 1 in 5 adults. Please join the fight against hunger and donate nonperishable items to help feed kids, families and seniors. Nonperishable food in plastic, cardboard or cans works best for transporting (glass can easily be broken). Thank you for making a difference with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona!


Tucson Police Department Receives New Bulletproof Vests


The Tucson Police Department (TPD) is in the process of receiving more than 1,000 new bulletproof vests as part of Proposition 101, the voter-approved half-cent sales tax now known as Tucson Delivers. In the Tucson 12 video linked below, learn how a vest saved one detective's life. You can also see the process of how officers get fitted for the vests to properly protect them while on duty.
Watch the Tucson 12 video:
Tucson Police Department: