South Tucson, City of – History

South Tucson was formed as a reaction to fears that being annexed by Tucson would lead to higher taxes. South Tucson was incorporated as a separate city in 1936. Property owners gathered at Yell-O-Inn auto court to vote the town into existence. South Tucson is a 1.2 square mile city. The city is between 40th Street on the south, 26th Street on the north, South 12th Avenue on the west and the railroad tracks near South Second Avenue on the east. South Tucson has about 5,500 residents. The town had its own mayor, town council, police and fire departments. South Tucson uses Tucson’s utilities and school districts.

South Tucson nearly ceased to exist in 1938 and 1978. In 1938 business owners led a campaign to disincorporate the town. In 1978 South Tucson police shot and injured a Tucson policeman during a joint operation. South Tucson was sued by the Tucson policeman, Roy Garcia. Roy Garcia was awarded a $3.6 million dollar judgment, and this judgment nearly bankrupted the town.

South Tucson is famous for its Mexican restaurants. It has 21 restaurants that generate enough sales tax to be nearly 20 percent of South Tucson’s revenues.


Tax fears formed S. Tucson, now famous for its food, opens a new window.” Arizona Daily Star. December 14, 2010. Page A2.

The City of South Tucson, opens a new window |

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