Monday, February 8, 2010

Bureaucrats vs. Taxpayers, Part VIII

Arizona was hit hard by the housing bubble and that is causing considerable headaches for politicians - particularly since they allowed spending to explode during the boom years. Phoenix could be a poster child for fiscal excess. The city budget grew by nearly 10 percent annually when revenues were buoyant, in part because government employees have compensation that is almost twice as high as workers in the productive sector of the economy:

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio has pointed out that the average cost for a Phoenix city employee is $100,000. In just the past six years, the City of Phoenix budget grew by 59.6 percent, more than double the sum of inflation and population growth. ...Clearly, there is a failure by the City of Phoenix to address fundamental reform in the face of shrinking tax revenues. Public safety should be the city’s first priority for funding, not an afterthought that depends on the promise of additional taxes. Many of the funds in the city’s total budget are dedicated for various purposes such as public art.

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