FORCLOSURES DOWN 56%, AZ RANKING FALLS FROM FOURTH TO SIXTH - Real Estate data tracking firm RealtyTrac is reporting today that Arizona's home foreclosure filings are are down 56.2% from one year ago. Nationally, the rate of foreclosure filings has improved by 24.4% in the last twelve months. Arizona Public Media reports.

NEWSPAPER CARRIER SPOTS EARLY MORNING HOUSE FIRE - TFD officials say a "probable electrical malfunction" caused a fire early this morning at a home on the city's south side. A worker delivering newspapers in the neighborhood spotted the fire and called 911, according to a news release from TFD PIO Barrett Baker. Crews had to cut vents in the roof of the home, which appeared to be vacant at the time of the blaze. It took nine crews and 23 firefighters, 12 minutes to put out the flames. No injuries were reported. Read KVOA's report here, KOLD/KMSB's here.

TUMAMOC HILL ACCESS LIMITED THIS WEEK AND NEXT DUE TO PCWIN TOWER CONSTRUCTION - Work is underway on the second phase of the Pima County Wireless Integrated Network's (PCWIN) Tumamoc Hill Proposed Consolidation Plan, a project that includes a new, 125-foot tower atop the hill. County officials say the project will temporarily interfere with hiking access, and that a security guard will be posted at the bottom of the hill during construction days. Story from KOLD/KMSB. More on the Tumamoc Hill project at the PCWIN info page.

MAINTAINING PUBLIC TRUST IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT - Opinion polls have found public trust in local government tends to be high relative to trust in state or national governments, and it has remained steady while trust in other levels of government has declined. Earl Mathers, County Administrator for Gallatin County, Montana, examines factors that inspire public confidence. (From ICMA's PM Magazine.)

ANALYSIS OF SALES TAX BILL REVEALS UNCERTAIN, POSSIBLY NEGATIVE IMPACT ON REVENUE - A report released this week by the state's Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) provides two estimates of the fiscal impacts of HB 2657, a bill that would overhaul Arizona's Transaction Privilege Tax (sales tax) system. The first estimate is based on assumptions held by the Arizona Department of Revenue, and predicts a net gain of $19M in general fund revenue. The second estimate, based on what the JLBC report describes as different, but "equally plausible" assumptions on the bill's three main issues, predicts a net loss of $137M.