Mayor Rothschild addresses Tucson's slow job growth

Mayor Rothschild addresses Tucson's slow job growth

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Tucson Mayor Jonathon Rothschild is not happy with the city's sluggish job growth.

Rothschild delivered his first State of the City address of his second term on Tuesday, which was sponsored by the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce.

"Our job growth rate was 2.4 percent, in line with the rest of the state. This is slower than we'd like," he said to a crowd of more than 1,000 business and local political leaders.

His address also outlined many of the accomplishments of his past four years.

Annexations quadrupled, hundreds of homeless vets were given permanent shelter and downtown boomed with hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment. But overall growth is still having a hard time coming back from the great recession.

"I think we're kind of stuck," said Wes Adams, a representative for Hamstra Heating & Cooling, Inc. "I think Tucson is a little stagnant right now."

Tucson added 8,900 jobs last year, according to Rothschild, but many of those came from local companies that expanded operations such as Comcast, Tucson Medical Center, Northwest Medical Center and Ventana Medical Systems.

It was a business-friendly crowd which is likely why the mayor covered so many business-related issues.

Technology, trade, transportation and tourism were the dominate themes, but he also addressed education and infrastructure. The areas he briefly touched on or neglected to mention were areas such as water, crime and the city's budget issues. But he had some harsh words for the state lawmakers.

The state now requires Tucson to pay $1.5 million for sales tax collections. Except, even though the city pays the state, the state has failed to do the job, the state still collects its $1.5 million.

The city will lose another $9 million in taxes because of a new state regulation on businesses.

Rothschild is well aware this is a presidential election year and without naming names or parties, assured the crowd Tucson has not been afflicted with poison politics.

"This presidential election year, when so many are so angry, so unwilling to talk to each other, much less work with each other, I value Tucson more than ever," he said. "We have not lost our willingness to listen, to compromise."

To read his entire speech, click here:

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