Questions and Answers

Questions are welcome. Answers are too!

Incorporation Timeline

1. Ask if you really want to create a town?

2. Determine your proposed town’s boundaries.

3. Receive your neighbor’s permission. (Any city within 6 miles).

​​4. File a blank petition with the County Election Department.

​​5. Gather signatures from at least 10% of registered voters (hurry, you only have 180 days!). 

6. Submit the petitions to the Board of Supervisors.

7. The election is then held within 180 days.

8. Vote YES on election day. (Aug 2019?)

9. A new town is born!

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Submit questions at the bottom of this page. Thank you for participating in this process.

Any plans would be decided upon by the first council. We are only researching these items for their benefit.

The only way to ensure that every person has a voice in what transpires in their small community, the only way to protect our rural lifestyle, with a holistic approach, is to form a small government and take control of our own destiny through means of incorporation.

1. Why incorporate?

To stop the annexation of our land by other municipalities and control the development of the area.

2.  How would these be paid for?

Incorporated communities have multiple sources of revenue. A fairly comprehensive list is provided in the municipal incorporation manual in our Archive.

3.  Are you planning to form a whole new fire district or keeping DMFD and keep paying property taxes to them?

The fire district is already in place and so nothing would really change. We would likely have to enter into an IGA (intergovernmental agreement) or a MOU (Memorandum of understanding) with the district.

4.  So what's the plan to tackle the encroaching cities after incorporation? How exactly is our fledgling little town going to go to bat against COP and the residential developers?

Let's just suppose for a minute that incorporation did happen and that it included the lot where the storage place is being built. That owner needs sewer and water to fully develop, so he wants to be annexed into Phoenix. He can't be annexed, he doesn't border the Phoenix city limits. State law stops him. So, he gets a map and adds the properties across Carefree Hwy and down the road to the east until he gets to the Phoenix city limits at 16th St. south of Carefree. Now, the combined properties touch Phoenix. So, he applies again. He still can't be annexed by Phoenix because he is part of the new town that we're supposing exists. Why? It's call jurisdiction. The idea is that one city can't change the boundaries of another city. Just as one city can't change the speed limit on a particular road in another city, it can't go modifying the borders of another city. Each city is in control of its own territory. Phoenix can't grab a piece of Scottsdale and Glendale can't snatch a nice piece of Phoenix. Once you’re in a city, you're part of that city. There are ways of getting out of one city and then being annexed into another one in the state laws, but it's a huge process and takes the agreement of both cities. And, that's how incorporation protects boundaries and property from annexation.

5. Do you plan on starting a land grabbing exercise to grow the Town of New River into adjacent state trust land? How would that be paid for?


6.  What's your long term plan for water? How would this be paid for?

We have looked at several options including water credits through either a nearby municipality or a private water company. We met with Epcor, the city of Scottsdale water resources department, and are awaiting some information from the COP water resources department as well. It is unlikely that this community will ever have infrastructure like water pipes due to the nature and geography of the area making such an endeavor cost prohibitive.

7.  What's your long term plan for sewer? How would this be paid for?

No sewer planning has been contemplated or researched as it is not a necessary service.

8.  What's your long term plan for road development? How would this be paid for?

We have not done any long term road development studies. However, we are looking at the cost of maintaining the roads vs contracting road maintenance services.

9.  What's your plan for adding commercial or industrial tax revenue? Are you planning on any new zoning or zoning exceptions for industry? Where would this be located?

No plan to add either.

10.  Who is thinking about running for city council here?

As detailed in the incorporation manual the first council will be appointed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

11. Surely if the plan is for a degree of autonomy, having Maricopa County Board of Supervisors appoint a council is self-defeating? Is this only the first Council?

Yes, elections after the first council. They would have to appoint local residents. The council members would be subject to recall if they did not act in accordance with the towns general plan (the towns ten year planning document, revisions have to be voted on) Here is more detailed information on this type of city/town management:

12.  So then your plan could go out the window depending on who is voted in?

The community would have a vote in the general plan that is meant to outline the plans for the community for the next ten years. Here is a sample of a general plan from Dewey-Humboldt that outlines the community vision:

13.  Funding without commercial tax base will come from increased property taxes really only place to get it with out sales tax revenue.

Property tax increases have to be voted on. That being said the last nine communities to incorporate have not raised property taxes (source: Tom Belshe, Arizona League Deputy Director). Commercial Tax Revenues are only one of the potential income streams. A fairly comprehensive list is available on the Arizona League's website:

14. A couple of questions...we own a piece of property in the residential area south of Carefree Hwy. Am I correct that this is part of the area of discussion? And If I read one of the articles correctly we must be living there and not just owning property to vote on any issues?

The boundaries are not yet set. It's hard to say at this point. As far as voting goes, if this gets to the ballot, then the voters that are registered in the area will be eligible to vote on the issue.​ ​​

15.  Just thinking about what this would entail. If we become incorporated does that mean the county will not maintain our roads anymore?

A town would have access to ADOT funding from state taxes that you're already paying. But the town would be in charge of any county maintained roads.​ ​​

16.  Public Safety?

There is a 1 year grace period before you have to contract for law enforcement. We are pricing out contracting with MCSO versus a new police department.

17.  Will our lives be improved?

Yes, this is the main reason that we are doing this. By allowing the New River citizens to decide what happens in New River, ensures that the wants and needs of the community are met. Every community is unique and has different goals, needs and wants. The first requirements of an incorporation is that the proposed area be a "community" that shares a common interest, social life, business, and other things that make a community. We firmly believe this describes New River - Desert Hills. By all having generally the same interests (staying a small, quite community being one) ensures that this common interest is held and protected.​ ​​

18.  What risks will we face?

It is hard to predict any and all risks that may arise out of an incorporation, because no situation is alike. However, risk is calculated in the process. There are protections (such as bonds and other sources) that protect a municipality from being devastated by a lawsuit or the like. With the structure the State has set up for a town to incorporate, careful consideration has been taken into account on the part of risk.

19.  How will our taxes under incorporation compare to our new tax structure?

This is completely up to the people of the town. For example, any property tax must be placed for a vote and approved by the town's voters. Sales tax can be imposed by the council. However, there are protections in place for this to (like referendums, initiatives, and recalls -- I can explain more on this if this is unclear). Further examples of protection of taxes is that all taxes must comply with structured tax codes of the state and/or county. While all citys and towns some form of tax as local revenue, the amount is up to the voters of the town.​ ​​

20. Will the town determine its own zoning regulations?

That is up to the voters. It is common that towns pass ordinances of this nature. This could be helpful to stop overdevelopment of New River - Desert Hills and excessive pumping. However, again, this is up to the voters of the town.​​​​

21. Will we need insurance to pay for natural disasters, lawsuits, and other unexpected expenses?

 This can be complicated when it comes to disasters. State and Federal governments have disaster relief funds to aid with such a situation. Upon incorporation, a town is given access to bonds and other funds to insulate from lawsuits and other unexpected expenses. Depending on the expense there are other State and Federal grants available as well.​​​​

22. Why incorporate rather than be annexed?

The simple answer to this is that it is better given the New River - Desert Hills community. While there are pros and cons of annexation, given the common culture here, it is apparent that the majority would not support annexation, therefore it would not be best for the community as a whole.​​​​

23. So are you saying we would have to incorporate first and work out the details later? If so, would the entire community vote on all pertinent issues or just the mayor/council members (or whatever governing body is established)?

Some things MUST be voted on and other things (such as ordinances) can be placed by a the council members, as long as a majority votes in favor of the proposal. There are tools for voters to hold the council members accountable and for voters to propose ordinances they would like to see enacted. These tools are: referendums, initiatives, and recalls.​ ​​

24. Is it true that Desert Hills residents won't even be able to have a vote on if we want this to get to the ballot? I'm not stating my position as I am undecided, but would think we would be able to vote one way or another to even get this on the ballot. If not and it is only New River residents that can decide this I feel that is very wrong and we in Desert Hills have no representation.

There are two things going on, and there is often a bit of mix-up in people's minds. The way incorporation gets on the ballot during one of the elections held each year is by petition. Ten percent of the residents inside the proposed boundaries must sign a petition that is presented to the County Board of Supervisors. The Supervisors validate the signatures, and if upheld, order an item in the next general election. Then, during the election every resident inside the boundaries gets to vote 'For' or 'Against'. If a simple majority of people vote for incorporation, the Board of Supervisors declares the area incorporated and a new city is born. If a less than a majority vote 'For' incorporation, nothing further is done and the matter is closed. The area remains in the county. There are other requirements regarding time, size, population and such, but these are the basics on how petitions and voting are done.

25 . Leave New River alone... what's the benefits then..??!!

Some benefits are that municipalities cannot annex our land and we can put a stop to the wildcat and illegal development. Tax dollars you already pay would be redirected to our community to be used within our community. We are researching preserving our community to protect it.​​​

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