Taxpayers get creative trickery, mathematical magic
There’s more than a bit of sleight of hand passing as news in the local disseminator of left-wing skew pretending it’s still a newspaper. On the auction block again, the failing Hillary-endorsing Arizona Republic’s days are numbered. Reporters have been replaced by ASU Cronkite J school students. Actual journalists are a mere memory. Editors took a forced hike when layoffs turned what was once a newsroom into skeletal remains. The newspaper, now a homeless vagrant, was recently forced to sell its downtown building and parking garage.
An example of the bizarre reporting emanating from this mess is a mind-boggling gem, topped with the hope-inducing headline, “Phoenix council to lower property tax rate.” Puzzled readers have to remind themselves that the minority majority city council districts, that were put in place for the sole purpose they now serve, (read the bold type portion under the link) have succeeded in making the capitol of red state Arizona, a deep blue. The Democrat majority including the newly elected Dem mayor Kate Gallego, are obviously disinclined to return to taxpayers any of their own money. There must be more behind the headline.
The 25-year-old reporter, lacking any historic memory and obviously hustling to turn out agendized “news” to curry favor with those still able to pay her salary, lets the cat outta the bag with this reality:
“The city is projecting a $55 million surplus in its $1.4 billion general fund budget — extra money beyond what is needed to maintain current city services.
The average Phoenix resident will see a 3% increase in property taxes. The city’s property tax rate is decreasing, but rising property values will result in a higher tax bill.
About 70% of the surplus will go toward city employee salary increases and other compensation, which was negotiated with the city’s unions earlier this year, leaving less than $20 million for other investments.”
Fiscal trickery is nothing new for the City of Phoenix. As an example, in December 2009 we wrote $14.3 million was paid in “retention bonuses” to nearly 14,000 employees. This, as the City Council cut $270 million, or 22 percent, from Phoenix’s general-fund budget, including $156 million from programs and services in order to balance the city budget. In 2010, under Democrat Mayor Phil Gordon, Phoenix imposed a 2% tax on food.
In 2012, problem-plagued, then-City Manager David Cavazos was gifted with a 33% raise, which amounted to an extra $78,000 a year boosting his base salary to $315,000 a year plus a $600 monthly car allowance, $35,000 a year in deferred compensation, and a $4,000 “longevity” bonus.
Think you can effect change next election cycle and vote the Dems out? Unless droves of middle class Phoenix residents are willing to move into neighborhoods where English is not the primary language, the chances for turning this lopsided city council around are beyond remote — which was the whole point behind Democrat former Mayor Terry Goddard dividing the city into districts where ethnicity reigns supreme.