Last week, I wrote about the structural deficit our city is facing. Our deficit problems will continue until we make public safety our priority and cut spending in non-essential areas.
On Tuesday, city staff gave a presentation regarding the budget deficit forecast. The forecast, which did not come as a surprise to me, shows our deficit continue to grow out of control, even while we collect increased revenue.
The day after the budget deficit presentation, I voted NO at the City Council Formal Meeting on the following expenses, all of which the Phoenix City Council ultimately approved:
- $3,668,564 to Downtown Phoenix Inc. – a group that already taxes private businesses against their will to spend money on the Downtown area.
- $16,000 to National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials – annual membership fee.
- $60,000 to Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 777 to buy promotional and training material for themselves.
- $108,000 to Ballard Spahr LLP- lobbyists (this is on top of the hundreds of thousands of dollars they already spent on lobbyists at the last council meeting).
- $12,170,000 to change just four bus routes.
- $750,000 to join the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability.
During just a single city council meeting, we could have cut $16 million of unnecessary spending. Instead, we continued to add to the structural deficit problems we face.
As long as we continue to spend in this manner, we will continue to see taxpayer monies wasted, and city officials will continue to have their hand out, saying they need to increase taxes because they are short on revenues. They’re not. They just have a spending problem.