A message from Sal DiCicco:
You now know that the average Phoenix employee costs about $100,000 per year.
I will bet you did not know that in the recently approved budget that included the new food tax, $20 million went to employee raises. Yes, that is a correct number. You and your neighbors have been asked to sacrifice services, and many have taken pay cuts of 10% of more. While the city imposed a new food tax hitting seniors and the poor the hardest, you have struggled to make your mortgage. Meanwhile, city employees got $20 million in raises.
In the past four months, Phoenix has:
- raised your water rates (40 percent in the past five years)
- raised your sewer rates ($3 million this year)
- imposed a new food tax ($50 million a year)
- raised fees for small business
And it is about to get worse. In the past two weeks, staff has discussed a property tax rate increase of about $85 million per year. (Ed note: this was given to me about a week ago, just getting it posted)
If you read anything about city budget issues, you must read this message.
You, the taxpayers, have done enough. The city has reduced services for businesses, closed libraries and after-school programs, reduced services in multiple areas, including transit and parks. These budget problems will not be resolved until Phoenix acknowledges its out-of-control labor costs and comes up with a plan to deal with it. While a one-time 3.2 percent pay cut agreed to by most labor units helps this balance sheet some, it remains way out of balance – and tilted against the taxpayer.
If you recall, I voted against the budget, and voted against the food tax, rate hikes and increased tax on business.
The more information I can provide you about what’s going on in city hall, the more able you will be to make the right choices as a voter.
District 6 Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-262-7491