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Statement from Councilman Sal DiCiccio on the Projected Phoenix City Budget DeficitStatement from Councilman Sal DiCiccio on the Projected Phoenix City Budget Deficit<div class="ExternalClass8FCB74F588024507B116FB09C2D1FD7D"><table cellspacing="0" width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:100%;"><p>"For the past seven years, I have been speaking out about the poor financial state of the city due to its structural deficit.<br><br>The City of Phoenix has released a report on the state of the financial future of the city that only skims the surface of the major budget problems that we face. While other cities and governments have been seeing balanced budgets, Phoenix has seen forecasted deficits repeatedly requiring "corrections." <br><br>Even though Phoenix is experiencing increased revenues due to a growing economy and higher taxes, we will continue to see shortfalls in our budget until we fix this structural deficit.<br><br>These budget problems cannot be blamed solely on soaring pension costs which continue to exist even after city leaders promised you the pension problem was "solved."  While soaring pension costs are a significant problem, Phoenix has a structural deficit in addition to the out-of-control pension expenses.<br><br>The primary solution to the structural deficit, which would put Phoenix on the right track, is a real strategic plan. This means prioritizing the functions and services that are important to you and your family.<br><br>For example, the city pays out millions of dollars every year for lobbyists and public relations. Even more alarming examples of wasteful spending exist. For example, when Phoenix paid $9.875 million dollars to an out of state company to talk to you and your family about recycling. No joke. $9.875 million of your hard earned tax dollars to "talk" about recycling. <br><br>This comes at a time when the Phoenix Police Department will be reallocating resources to get more officers back on the streets to be available to respond to the community's calls for service and to increase officer/community safety. Public safety is a core function of our city, and I commend Chief Williams for having a strategic plan that strengthens our core missions, but this reallocation would never have been necessary if Phoenix did not allow the police shortage to get to record levels due to lack of funding.<br><br>You have heard me call for a true strategic plan before. Even a simple small business would have a strategic plan to keep them focused on their core missions. <br><br>Instead of having an outcome model based on strategic functions, Phoenix chose not to do a simple strategic plan and is instead focused on increasing revenues. This model is a proven failure. It has never worked anywhere so why would anyone expect it to work here?<br><br>You can't just waltz into your boss's office and demand a raise because you want to eat out more. So why do you allow your government to spend monies on things that are not only non-essential, but quite frankly insane? <br><br>Now we see a $31 billion train tax, the highest property tax increase in recorded history, fee increases and a focus from each department to take more from the general public. And.....future deficits. <br><br>I will be releasing an in-depth paper soon with documentation that will no doubt create a heated discussion, but will show you this is not a Republican or Democrat issue. My paper will outline specifically how governments steal from the poor and overtax a heavily burdened middle class.<br><br>Until we reign in our spending on these unnecessary projects and complete a true strategic plan, Phoenix will continue to deal with deficits, tax increases and reductions in services.<br><br>You have my commitment to continue to protect you and your family."</p></td></tr></tbody></table></div>1/5/2017 10:00:00 PMDavid Urbinato602-495-5405