Guest Blogger Gary Gibbs; Tax Increase for Goodyear

By Guest Blogger Gary Gibbs.  Former Mayoral candidate.

Goodyear’s city manager has presented the city council with a balanced preliminary operating budget for 2012, a marked improvement over the multi-million dollar deficit budgets of the past several years. In fact, this initial offering has a surplus of $100K. How? Not through cost cutting measures but greater projected state revenue based on 2010 census data and (wait for it) . . . a tax increase.

City officials, elected and otherwise, may dispute that last statement, but here are the facts: The preliminary budget contains a token reduction in the grocery tax, dropping it from 2.5 to 2.25 per cent, decreasing revenue by $375,000. You’ll probably hear a lot of crowing about that from the politicos. What you will hear less about is that the property tax rate is rising from 1.42 to 1.60. That sounds modest, but according to the city’s finance director, it will generate an additional $1.5 million for city coffers.  That’s a net tax increase of more than $1 million.

How is that increased revenue being spent? Hard to tell at this point. The budget is a labyrinth containing many nooks and crannies where discretionary money can easily be hidden and manipulated. Three things are certain, however. There are no provisions to put anything toward the city’s $300 million debt, there is no evidence that the city is preparing itself for a promised .5 per cent reduction to the general sales tax in 2013 and, for the fourth year in a row, no raises for city employees.

That last part probably doesn’t sit too well with the employees, and it sticks in the craw of the mayor and city council as well. In the most recent election, the winners were all backed by city employee unions, and such support comes with a price. At a budget workshop session Monday, April 25, the council busily set to work exploring ways to spend the meager $100K surplus and then some on increased employee compensation, spending the entire 90-minute session on this issue. While no decisions can be made nor votes taken at workshop sessions, there appeared to be consensus to give police officers and fire fighters an increase by raising the entry level salary tiers, thereby compressing the entire pay structure upwards. Cost for that is about $350K. The city manager assured council he could find the $250K beyond the $100K surplus and still keep the budget balanced, which serves as proof that there is plenty of fluff in his initial proposal.

In addition, the council entertained a proposal to give all employees a one-time performance bonus. “Successful” employees, the ones doing their job well, could see a 1 per cent bonus. Employees who are exceeding standards could see a 2 per cent windfall. Cost varies depending on the split between “successful” and “exceeds” employees, but could fall in the range of $300K to $500K. If approved, the money would come from so-called one time funds, which are not included in operating revenue estimates (construction sales tax is the primary source).

During this part of the work session, it was revealed that some 75 per cent of all fire fighters have been rated “exceeds” in recent performance reviews. Well managed pay for performance compensation plans in the private sector usually anticipate “exceeds” rewards for about 10 per cent of the employee population. In Goodyear’s case, that means expectations for exceeds performance are either set too low, or the system is being gamed to funnel higher raises to employees when funds are available.


11 Responses

  1. Wow, Glad you are not the mayor esp since Howard is your new best friend….
    Birds of a feather……….
    The vice mayer suggested that the council lower the property taxes with surplus money from water funds for one year only the rate for the upcomming year is the standard rate,
    At a worksession your weren at lauritano asked to see about keeping the lower rate
    but since your a howardite you must have missed anything that goes against you world view……..
    Keep in mind writing is forever……………………….
    Your guest blogs with incorrect infromation might be seen again in 2 yrs

    • First, wouldn’t it be nice to have a mayor or council members who not only understood the intricacies of the city budget but could also communicate them fairly and effectively as Gary Gibbs has just done?

      Next, wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have people like goodyear2011 who not only won’t identify themselves, but judge others based upon where they write their opinions instead of what is written. By the comment, did gdy2011 even read what Gary wrote? gdy2011 certainly did not bring any new information or arguments to the discussion regarding Gibbs’ claims since he didn’t contradict any of them. Just name calling.

      Finally, wouldn’t it be nice if we had comments from people who knew how to spell mayer mayor, weren weren’t, and knew the difference between your and you’re.

  2. Gary lost votes for 2012. Mainstream voters want ideas and facts
    All he did was tell a lame story about oscar and think he could pick up the phone and call trader joes. This man doesn’t know how business works. I agree that these posts will be seen again for those who want to run the Internet is forever. The. Voters did not choose Gary the first time now he has turned off the vast majority of them. Had he chosen to be a positive influence he would have had a good chance for a seat in 2 yes but he chose to go this route by making false posting on a blog and az central that show he is a sore looser.
    Howard heard you wanted to be a guest Ed writer for west valley view and you were turned down flat. Good choice of associates Gary killed your chance for office

  3. Gary,
    If you want to see corruption. look at the financial disclosures for rassas, wendy Bill A, and Jon B. they all had their capaigns giving or lending money to other campaigns. once Wendy gave sean money but sean didn’t report it. Dear readers. I appreciate your participation, but if you want to post something with some facts that back it up, send me an email documenting your assertions and I’ll consider giving you a Guest Blog post.
    this is not legal. The team was sending money back and forth can’t do that under election laws
    look into that if you want to see some funny business
    ps I voted for you

    • I found it. I looked at the goodyear web site. Goto elections and check the last disclosure statements. Its right there for all to see.

  4. I was the treasurer for Sean’s campaign. As Sean, Wendy, Bill & Jon ran as a team and advertised together, one would pay for an ad to Pebble Creek post or Up the Hill magazine and then they were reimbursed from the other committees finances. No illegal transactions took place.

    They are 4 very honest and incredibly good people who put themselves out there for the good of the city. I am not sure the purpose of continuing to attempt to find them at fault for anything.

    I wonder why all of these people that post like they have all the answers to issues didn’t run.

  5. Gary,

    Did you not seek out an endorsment from the police and fire unions? Now your tone seems to be as if you think they are corrupt.where did he say that?..Your card says you support public saftey, doesnt seem that way now that you lost..Hurt feelings I suppose?? Im glad you show your cards now..its a long road until next election season Translation, if you aren’t going to come up with the cash for me and my buds, I’m not voting for you, or, maybe I’ll boycott you. Typical. Seems to be police and fire’s strong suit.

    Good luck getting endorsed now..

    Kim L

    • Wow, this sounds like sour grapes indeed.

      It is a shame that he seemed so “pro public safety” during he campaign but it appears his true colors are coming out. This sounds very similar to Rassas running on a platform to lower taxes but then admitting behind closed doors that we couldn’t afford to lower them right now.
      I am not following the logic here. Gary wrote about the tax increase that council did not own up to and the fact that city council has been silent on the whole police fiasco. What does that have to do with supporting public safety or not? Brown et al were not doing their jobs properly according to the independent report. You can’t lay that on Gary. I guess you did but that makes no sense to me. Gary can reply as he sees fit but I see these comments first and some don’t publish right away
      Mr. Gibbs, piece of advice…focus more on the positive like one of the above stated and less on the negative.

      Lastly, did you solicit support from the unions like Kim L. stated? Better to answer than to let this drag on like a birth certificate.

  6. If they gave each other money but did it by mistake just redo the forms no harm no foul
    Then it’s all cleared up and they shut up
    Even russel p refiled his for the fiesta bowl mess

  7. Kim’s most recent comment has been deleted because he/she is just name calling. Try again Kim and try to make a reasonable argument without calling names please. Then I’ll allow your posts. We’re having some good discussions here, don’t ruin it. You are entitled to your option, and so is everyone else. Just make your point, support it with some facts and let it stand on its own without the playground language.

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