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Surprise Considering $60M Bond Measure

A Surprise teen jumps off the diving board at the Surprise Aquatic Center. Credit: The Arizona Republic

By Jessica Boehm for The Arizona Republic

Surprise residents could soon have a new recreation center, aquatic facility and pickleball court — but only if they vote to hike their property taxes by about 65 percent.

The Surprise City Council is considering whether to put a bond before residents in the November election to generate $60M for projects that aren’t funded in the city’s current budget.

The list of potential investments includes public-safety resources like a property and evidence facility and two fire stations, pavement preservation and recreational amenities, like an Olympic-size swimming pool. These ideas came out of a bond exploratory committee formed by the city last year.

If residents approve the bond, Surprise’s property tax would no longer be the lowest in the Valley, but it would be below the average. A $200,000 home would see an increase of around $100 per year, according to the city.

Council members have touted the need for more family recreation amenities as the impetus for a bond election.

But some families question why the proposed amenities can’t fit into the city’s $298.6M budget.

The council must decide by mid-July whether to put a bond on the ballot. The city has not held a bond election since 2009, when voters rejected a $184.9M bond that would have funded public safety, transportation, recreation and economic-development projects.

The council considered running a bond election last year but decided against it to not pull support away from the Dysart Unified School District’s $18.8M override, which narrowly passed.

Read more at The Arizona Republic

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