Fiscal Year 2022/23
Welcome To Tucson!
Known for its saguaro-studded landscape and seemingly endless sunny days, Tucson is indeed one of the most unique and stunning landscapes in the country. However, the spirit of Tucson lies in the warm, diverse, and authentic nature of the people who call Tucson home.
Arizona’s second largest city, Tucson is surrounded by four majestic mountain ranges and nestled in the heart of a lush Sonoran Desert valley. Both residents and visitors delight in outdoor activities from hiking and biking to birding and stargazing. Tucson was also the country’s first city to be named a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. The award recognizes the region’s “rich agricultural heritage, thriving food traditions, and culinary distinctiveness.” On top of just being delicious, the food reflects the unique cultures and traditions that make Tucson special. Tucson’s vibrant culture is also reflected in its many events including the world’s largest gem, mineral, and fossil showcase, All Souls Procession, and Tucson Meet Yourself. The energetic and still growing downtown is full of theaters, performance spaces, and museums showcasing a vibrant arts community.
Under the leadership of Tucson’s Mayor and Council, our community has entered a new era of collaboration with our economic partners, the State of Arizona, Rio Nuevo, Pima County, and Sun Corridor Inc, that has transformed our business environment and successfully attracted major investment and job creation by global and national corporations. During the pandemic, the Mayor and Council moved swiftly to leverage federal financial aid to provide economic support to Tucson’s most-vulnerable community members. This work has helped to ensure a strong economy for all community members. Tucson has long been recognized as a center for the aerospace, defense, optics, and medical-health services industries and is now receiving global attention for its emergence as a center for logistics, mining technology, renewable energy, and biotechnology.
Population and Demographics
Tucson, the second largest city in Arizona and the heart of the Southern Arizona region, saw steady growth in its population over the last four decades. Nationally, Tucson has grown from the 45th largest city in 1980, to the 34th largest in 1990, the 30th largest in 2000, and the 32nd largest by 2010. With this growth, Tucson’s demographics have also continued to change. Monitoring demographics is essential to ensuring proper planning and operations by the City. The following charts break out Tucson’s race and age group demographics.
By charter from the State of Arizona, the City of Tucson is governed by a Mayor and Council. Council member candidates are nominated in primary elections in each of six wards but are elected in citywide elections. The mayor is nominated and elected citywide. Elections occur on an odd-year cycle. The Mayor and Council set policy and appoint a city manager to provide the general supervision and direction for city government operations. Tucson is the county seat for Pima County which is the second largest county in population in Arizona. Only 65% of Pima County is incorporated into a city or town. Tucson has continued to grow its borders through the establishment of a strong annexation policy. This brings state-shared revenues to the city.
City Services and Amenities
Delivering exceptional service to the people of Tucson is the City of Tucson’s mission. With a renewed commitment to ensuring equitable service, the City budget of just under $1.8 billion is distributed across a variety of services. Details on all individual services are available in the Budget By Department section found in the Table of Contents.
The Tucson Delivers program tracks the progress of two voter-approved initiatives. In 2017 a half-cent sales tax increase was approved to provide $150 million for vehicles, equipment, and facilities for the Tucson Fire and Police departments. Purchases include police patrol cars, fire trucks, ambulances, and police motorcycles. A new southside police substation, police academy training track, and five fire station rebuilds are included in the facilities category. The sales tax increase also provides $100 million for road improvements. Of this $100 million, 60% is dedicated for arterial road improvements, while the remaining 40% will be used for local street improvements. In November 2018, a bond package was approved to provide $225 million to improve City parks amenities and connections. Park projects include improvements to playgrounds, sports fields, pools, splash pads, and recreation centers and other amenities. Connection projects include greenways and shared-use paths, pedestrian safety and walkability, and bicycle boulevards.
Despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tucson Delivers program initiatives thrived during the last fiscal year. Revenues collected exceeded expectations for both bonds and sales tax, oversight boards and commissions continued to meet and make decisions, public engagement continued with virtual town halls, and online and paper surveys. Project construction advanced and efficiencies were found as staff combined projects, bundled project elements, and supplemented projects with existing Arizona Department of Transportation and Community Development Block Grant project funds.