Changes to Arizona Revised Statutes forced Scottsdale to make a slight change to how it files expenditure limitations.
In August 2019, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill that required governing bodies to designate an individual to officially submit annual expenditure limitation reports to the auditor general. The Scottsdale City Council designated City Treasurer Jeff Nichols to serve in this capacity at its May 19 meeting.
The city must make this designation annually. The bill lines out the designee as the chief fiscal officer. To accomplish these new requirements, the council approved on consent two resolutions.
The first designated Mr. Nichols as chief fiscal officer for the purpose of submitting the fiscal year 2019-20 expenditure limitation report to Arizona Auditor General’s Office on behalf of the city.
The second resolution designated Mr. Nichols to submit the city’s fiscal year 2020-21 expenditure limitation report.
If the city were to appoint a new chief fiscal officer during the year, they must submit an updated, signed resolution that carries the City Council’s approval.
In 1980, voters approved an article to the Arizona Constitution that set expenditure limitations for cities and towns. The Arizona Auditor General’s Office’s website states the purpose of the limit is to “control expenditures of local revenues and limit future increases in spending to adjustments for inflation and population growth.”
The Auditor General’s Office is also responsible for setting up a uniform expenditure reporting system for all municipalities that fall under the expenditure limit article, which is where the recent statute change comes into play.
The Economic Estimates Commission established a base limit from the actual expenditure limit for each city and town in 1980. Each year, the commission calculates the constitutional limitation for all municipalities by adjusting the base limit for any voter-approved permanent base adjustment or annexations, population changes and inflation.