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Statement from Councilman Sal DiCiccio: $53 Million Budget Deficit Forecasted for 2018-19 Fiscal Year Statement from Councilman Sal DiCiccio: $53 Million Budget Deficit Forecasted for 2018-19 Fiscal Year<div class="ExternalClassB7F80A16EACB481BB5CE0E40EE0C0026"><div>“The city manager released his five-year budget forecast and Phoenix taxpayers will be facing a $53 million deficit in the 2018-19 fiscal year. City managers and politicians will be blaming this on the Police and Fire pensions. Pensions are definitely a problem, but to lay this at the feet of Police and Fire is a ruse. It is the fault of the managers and the politicians who allowed this to happen by refusing to prioritize city functions and stop reckless spending. Let me give you just one example:</div><div><br></div><div>The most expensive PRIVATE SECTOR apartment complex ever sold in Phoenix, across from the luxurious Biltmore at 26th Street and Camelback, sold for $277,000 per door.</div><div><br></div><div>A few blocks away, Phoenix leaders approved a GOVERNMENT BUILT “affordable housing apartment” project at 24th Street and Van Buren, costing us $281,000 per door to build- $32 million total.</div><div><br></div><div>The private sector apartment complex had all the bells and whistles, luxurious spa, wood floors, upgraded carpet and counters, but still cost less than the one built by Phoenix. The affordable housing project had bids for half the cost, which meant twice as many units could have been built for the poor, but instead we chose to do it the wrong way.</div><div><br></div><div>Phoenix is not only facing a pension problem. It has a structural deficit problem that will not be fixed until we begin the process of prioritizing spending on critical strategic functions. It is hard to justify cutting programs for the poor when Phoenix is spending millions on government waste - at least $5 million alone on PR, lobbying and memberships per year.</div><div><br></div><div>At the same time, Phoenix is short over 500 police officers. Why are we spending money frivolously when we have higher and more critical needs? And nothing is more critical than public safety.</div><div><br></div><div>And now we have been told that we will not address this future deficit, I believe primarily because we are in an election year and it would be too damaging. How does city management justify protecting politicians at the expense of the public? Phoenix leaders know we have a financial crisis hitting our city every single year, at a time when other cities throughout the state are enjoying higher revenue growth and no deficits. It is time we did something about this.</div><div><br></div><div>I will soon be releasing an in-depth paper that has taken me over one year to write. It reveals the cause of government waste, how politicians are profiting off the poor and what can be done to fix it.”</div></div>2/27/2017 6:00:00 PMDavid Urbinato602-495-5405