Counties as bodies politic and corporate
Section 1. Each county of the state, now or hereafter organized, shall be a body politic and corporate.
Counties of territory as counties of state
Section 2. The several counties of the territory of Arizona as fixed by statute at the time of the adoption of this Constitution are hereby declared to be the counties of the state until changed by law.
County officers; election; term of office
Section 3. There are hereby created in and for each organized county of the state the following officers who shall be elected by the qualified electors thereof: a sheriff, a county attorney, a recorder, a treasurer, an assessor, a superintendent of schools and at least three supervisors, each of whom shall be elected and hold his office for a term of four (4) years beginning on the first of January next after his election, which number of supervisors is subject to increase by law. The supervisors shall be nominated and elected from districts as provided by law.
The candidates for these offices elected in the general election of November 3, 1964 shall take office on the first day of January, 1965 and shall serve until the first day of January, 1969.
County officers; duties, powers, and qualifications; salaries
Section 4. The duties, powers, and qualifications of such officers shall be as prescribed by law. The board of supervisors of each county is hereby empowered to fix salaries for all county and precinct officers within such county for whom no compensation is provided by law, and the salaries so fixed shall remain in full force and effect until changed by general law.
Charter committee; charter preparation; approval
Section 5. A. The board of supervisors of any county with a population of more than five hundred thousand persons as determined by the most recent United States decennial or special census may call for an election to cause a charter committee to be elected by the qualified electors of that county at any time. Alternatively, the board of supervisors of any county with a population of more than five hundred thousand persons as determined by the most recent United States decennial or special census shall call for the election of the charter committee within ten days after receipt by the clerk of the board of supervisors of a petition that demands the election and that is signed by a number of qualified electors of the county at least equal to ten per cent of the total number of ballots cast for all candidates for governor or presidential electors in the county at the last preceding general election. The election shall be held at least one hundred days but not more than one hundred twenty days after the call for the election. Except as otherwise provided in this section, for elections held under this section or section 6 of this article, the manner of conducting and voting at an election, contesting an election, canvassing votes and certifying returns shall be the same, as nearly as practicable, as in elections for county officers.
B. At the election a vote shall be taken to elect members of the charter committee who will function if further proceedings are authorized and the ballot shall contain the question of whether further proceedings toward adopting a charter shall be authorized pursuant to the call for the election. Unless a majority of the qualified electors voting on the question votes to authorize further proceedings, the election of members of the charter committee shall be invalidated and no further proceedings may be had except pursuant to a subsequent call pursuant to subsection A.
C. The charter committee shall be composed of fifteen qualified electors of the county elected by supervisorial district with the same number serving from each district. A nomination petition for election to the charter committee shall be made available by the clerk of the board of supervisors and shall be signed by a number of qualified electors of the supervisorial district who are eligible to vote for the nominee at least equal to one per cent of the total number of ballots cast for all candidates for governor or presidential electors in the supervisorial district at the last preceding general election, and filed with the clerk not later than sixty days before the election. All qualified electors of the county, including all elected public officials, are eligible to seek election to the charter committee.
D. Within one hundred eighty days after the election the charter committee shall prepare and submit a proposed charter for the county. The proposed charter shall be signed by a majority of the members of the committee and filed with the clerk of the board of supervisors, after which the charter committee shall be dissolved. The county shall then publish the proposed charter in the official newspaper of the county at least once a week for three consecutive weeks. The first publication shall be made within twenty days after the proposed charter is filed with the clerk of the board of supervisors.
E. At least forty-five days but not more than sixty days after final publication, the proposed charter shall be submitted to the vote of the qualified electors of the county at a general or special election. If a general election will be held within ninety days after final publication, the charter shall be submitted at that general election. The full text of the proposed charter shall be printed in a publicity pamphlet and mailed to each household containing a registered voter at least eleven days before the charter election and the ballot may contain only a summary of the proposed charter provisions. The ballot shall contain a question regarding approval of the proposed charter and the questions pertaining to taxation authority and appointment of officers, if any, provided for in sections 7 and 8 of this article.
F. If a majority of the qualified electors voting ratifies the proposed charter, a copy of the charter, together with a statement setting forth the submission of the charter to the qualified electors and its ratification by them, shall be certified by the clerk of the board of supervisors and shall be submitted to the governor for approval. The governor shall approve the charter within thirty days after its submission if it is not in conflict with, or states that in the event of a conflict is subject to, this constitution and the laws of this state. On approval, the charter becomes the organic law of the county, and certified copies of the charter shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state and with the clerk of the board of supervisors after being recorded in the office of the county recorder. Thereafter all courts shall take judicial notice of the charter.
Amendment of charter
Section 6. A charter shall set forth procedures for amendment of the charter. Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the qualified electors of the county at a general or special election and become effective if ratified by a majority of the qualified electors voting on the amendments and approved by the governor in the manner provided for in section 5 of this article.
County charter provisions
Section 7. A. Charter counties continue to be political subdivisions of this state that exist to aid in the administration of this state’s laws and for purposes of self-government. Except as otherwise provided in this article the powers of the legislature over counties are not affected by this section and sections 5, 6, 8 and 9 of this article. Charter counties shall provide the same state mandated services and perform the same state mandated functions as non-charter counties. Charter counties may exercise, if provided by the charter, all powers over local concerns of the county consistent with, and subject to, the constitution and the laws of this state. In matters of strictly local municipal concern, charters adopted pursuant to article XIII shall control in any case of conflict with a county charter adopted pursuant to this article.
B. If a county has framed and adopted a charter and the charter is approved by the governor as provided in this article, the county shall be governed by the terms of its charter and ordinances passed pursuant to its charter. If the charter has been framed, adopted and approved and any of its provisions are in conflict with any county ordinance, rule or regulation relating to local concerns of the counties in force at the time of the adoption and approval of the charter, the provisions of the charter prevail notwithstanding the conflict and operate as a repeal or suspension of the law to the extent of conflict, and the law is not thereafter operative as to such conflict.
C. Notwithstanding article IX, section 1, if proposed and approved in the charter, a charter county may levy and collect:
1. Taxes on a countywide basis to provide services on a countywide basis.
2. Taxes on a specially designated area basis to provide services or special levels of service to that area.
All taxes levied pursuant to this subsection shall be uniform upon the same class of property within the territorial limits of the county or the specially designated area and shall be levied and collected for public purposes only.
D. The decision to include a charter provision authorizing taxation pursuant to subsection C, paragraph 1 or 2 of this section shall be placed on the ballot as separate questions at the election to ratify the charter and must be approved by a majority of the qualified electors voting at the election. The result of the voting on either provision authorizing taxation does not affect the result of the voting to ratify the charter. Charter provisions authorizing taxation pursuant to subsection C, paragraph 1 or 2 of this section may also be proposed by an amendment to the charter pursuant to section 6 of this article.
E. If the authority to tax pursuant to subsection C, paragraph 2 of this section is approved for inclusion in the charter, any new tax proposed by the county under subsection C, paragraph 2 of this section shall be voted on by the qualified electors of the specially designated area. The tax must be ratified by a majority vote of the qualified electors voting at the election.
F. A transaction privilege tax, use tax or similar tax levied by a county pursuant to subsection C, paragraph 1 of this section:
1. May be imposed on only those business activities, or on the use, storage or consumption, which are subject to the comparable state transaction privilege tax, use tax or similar tax.
2. Shall provide all exclusion and exemptions provided by, and administrative provisions consistent with, the comparable state transaction privilege tax, use tax or similar tax.
G. All taxes levied under subsection F of this section shall not exceed an aggregate rate of two per cent when combined with existing taxes levied pursuant to title 42, chapter 8.3.
H. If approved in the charter, a charter county may adopt fees and fee schedules for any county products and county service delivery it provides in the conduct of any official business. Notwithstanding any fee schedules or individual charges provided by state law, the governing body of a charter county may adopt an alternate fee schedule or individual charge. Any fee or charge established pursuant to this section shall be attributable to and defray or cover the current or future costs of the product or service delivery for which the fee or charge is assessed.
I. Taxes raised under the authority of this section shall be subject to the provisions of the county property tax and expenditure limitations pursuant to article IX, sections 19 and 20.
Government and other powers
Section 8. A. The county charter shall provide:
1. For an elective governing body and its method of compensation, its powers, duties and responsibilities, its authority to delegate powers, the method of election and removal of members, the terms of office and the manner of filling vacancies in the governing body.
2. For all officers established under section 3 of this article and article VI, section 23, and such additional officers as the charter may provide for, their election or appointment, consolidation or segregation, method of compensation, powers, duties and responsibilities, authority to delegate powers and, if elected, the method of election and removal, terms of office and the manner of filling vacancies in such offices. If the charter provides for the attorney to remain an elective officer of the county, the charter may provide for an appointive office to carry out the civil representation needs of the county, its departments, agencies, boards, commissions, officials and employees. If the elective governing body provided for in the charter does not consist of supervisors, the charter may provide for elimination of the office of supervisor. If the charter provides for the office of supervisor, the number of supervisors shall be not fewer than five or greater than nine. If the charter provides for the appointment or elimination of an officer established under section 3 of this article or article VI, section 23, or for an appointive office to carry out the civil representation needs of the county, those provisions shall include an effective date not earlier than the expiration of the term of office for the officer commencing in January immediately following the first general election at which the officer is elected following approval of the charter by the voters and shall be placed on the ballot as separate questions at the election to ratify the charter and must be approved by a majority of the qualified electors voting at the election. The result of the voting on any provisions authorizing appointment or elimination of officers does not affect the result of the voting to ratify the charter.
3. For the performance of functions required by statute.
4. For a periodic review of the charter provisions to be conducted at least once every ten years from the time of its ratification by the voters and the procedures for the periodic review.
B. The county charter may provide for other elective and appointive offices.
Section 9. The provisions of sections 5 through 8 of this article are self-executing, and no further legislation is required to make them effective.