ScrambleWatch Q&A: Republican Joe Higgins on Property Taxes

Republican Joe Higgins is challenging Republican District 1 Supervisor Ann Day in the Sept. 2 Republican primary.

Some critics have complained that your Web site is erroneous and that you have people quoted on the site as if they are endorsing your campaign. One is from Ray Carroll, who is not supporting your campaign. Do you think it’s misleading?

Those are just articles I’ve pulled that help make a case for a change in Pima County. And if you look at the board, Ray is one of those people pushing for change. Ray’s the front charge. So I read it and I put it up there.

Let’s say you do beat Ann. You’re still likely to be a minority on the board. How do you see yourself bringing change?

If you look at the A-frame sign issue, I build consensus. I’m not going to duke it out until we don’t like each other. I find a middle ground to get things done. But it is also an amazing pulpit to get your message out. Look at the problems and shed light on the problem. I think that’s what Ray does really well. Although a little different style than I would. It’s also another opportunity to rally around the small business. Now I’m talking about the dry cleaner, the ice cream shop, to let them have a voice.

What do you see as part of the culture of the board or the county that you think you might need a change?

Property tax growth, the size of the county. On my blog I’ve got a graph to show how we compare with similar sized counties. We’re almost as high as Maricopa County and we’re double Albuquerque and Austin. We’ve grown a bureaucracy and we need to start looking at that.

Single thing I hear is complaints about property taxes. For the first time we saw a 5 percent reduction in the county budget. Does any of that have to do with the fact that three out of the five supervisors are being challenged? I can’t help but think it’s all because of the election year, and we’re saying stop.

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