PETER, PAUL AND MARY.....Truth in Taxation Notice: Total Rate Unchanged, Property Tax Levy Will Decrease......well sort of......

June 28, 2010


Read the official notice posted by the City of Phoenix 6/4/2010 HERE. Note that there will be a incremental shift from the Secondary to the Primary. Resulting in a "no new tax claim". While the overall tax rate will not in fact increase on homeowners it was a battle to keep it from creeping up 2% and year on Primary, and Float on explained in this Republic article by Sadie Jo Smokey HERE, and sumarized in a statement from Coouncilwomen Neely HERE.

The Story

So basically Peter and Paul have decided to shift revenues from Mary's property tax the "The secondary portion of the property tax is used to pay for bonds like the 2006 Bond Program" to the "primary portion of the property tax supports our General Fund and pays for city services such as police and fire protection, parks and recreation programs, libraries and community centers." Maintaining the $1.82 per $100 of assessed value. The amount to be shifted is approximately $6,512,701 or 5.1%.

So there will not be a actual increase but a shift. What Ratero finds disturbing is that we were approached with the 1% sales tax to assist in the operational expenses, after being threatened with cuts to vital services and education. A increase of 2% on food, that effects those most vulnerable, to assist in the operational expenses. And now taken from a 2006 Bond Program that was designed for capital improvements only (operational expenses not allowed in the bond program) and placed into the operational general fund. We were sold the no new taxes during the bond approval elections, and now it is being raided for operational expense. The bond program will most likely be increased because now overrides and extensions are being asked upon us to be approved as a electorate. Recently 2006 bond funded Coronado Park improvements were abruptly put on extension most likely due to this shift. Now that the Secondary funds have been decreased how can we ever expect the voter approved (no new taxes) be funded without a tax increase? It is very unlikely that the money will be shifted back from the primary to the secondary ever. Is Mary confused now by what Peter and Paul and doing with the finances?

While it was admirable for the City Council to not raise the rates beyond the $1.82 as was proposed. It is not sustainable to continue to fund the City with illusions and shifts that "kick the can" a little farther down the road, at the ultimate expense of the taxpayer in the end.

What we have seen here is a shift from the capital improvement sector of the City funds to the operational funding.

And the point Ratero wishes to make is that the Capital improvement spending would have provided jobs outside of the government sector and into the private sector. With heavy emphasis on construction, the industry (employed neighbors) that most needs our help in Arizona during these difficult times. The community has had to make tremendous personal sacrifices in terms of business and employment affecting our lives deeply.

This shift of 6.5 million dollars to the public sector after we accepted in recent months bailouts paid for by us is just something that is a little to much.

Keep the money in the Capital improvements, the private sector, and give a little of our money back to the private sector who voted for the 2006 Bond improvements in good faith ..........assist us to remain employed this time.

The the public hearing on the tax increase that is scheduled was held June 23, 2010 at 3 p.m. at the city of Phoenix Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St.

This item is scheduled to be voted on July 7th 2010.