GY’s 17.7% Property Tax Rate Hike (and All the New Hires!)

Did you get your latest property tax bill?

Did you look on the back and compare it to last year’s rates? Someone I know let me use his for this article. GY increased it’s primary property tax rate 17.7%. What other business have you ever heard of that could just go ahead and increase it’s prices by 17.7% in a recession because revenues were down and it didn’t want to cut it’s costs? Here is the comparison shown on an actual bill;2011 to 2012 pri prop tax rate comparison0001

On this particular bill, the dollar amount (also called the levy) was up 6.5% over last year. On mine it was up 9.2%. The difference is because my home value went down less than his did. (PC values have held up better than other areas in GY so the Creekers are getting a bigger stick in their eye than other neighborhoods). You will also notice that the Secondary property tax rate was up 1.2% and the levy (dollar amount) fell. (But don’t worry, Creekers, they gave you $0.25 cents savings on every $100 you spend at Basha’s with their BIG BIG 1/4% food tax reduction).

Remember they’ve been telling us, “we’re only increasing the property tax rate to make up for the decline in property values”. How does that gibe with my 9.2% increase in what I’m actually paying in the primary tax?

Secondary & Primary, What’s The Difference?
From Goodyear’s own budget book;
Primary property taxes are levied for the purpose of funding general government operations. Annual increases are limited to 2% of the previous year’s maximum allowable primary property tax levy* plus allowances for new construction and annexation of new property and tort litigation settlements.”

Secondary property taxes are levied for the purpose of funding the principal, interest, and redemption charges on general obligation bonds of the City. The amount of this tax is determined by the annual debt service requirements on the City’s general obligation bonds”**

Taxpayers Are Getting HOSED!
Well just wait a dog gone minute here. Don’t the 7 dwarfs in Goodyear’s city council constantly tell us that they are “managing the ongoing expenditures” of the city quite well and, “living within our means”, but, “it’s that darn old debt that we have” that is the ENTIRE problem?

If that were the case, why did they need to raise the PRIMARY rate by 17.7% but the SECONDARY rate is only up by 1.2%?

I think you should ask the dwarfs that question. See what sort of spin they put on their answer. Personally, I don’t think any of them has a clue about what they are doing and listening to GEOrgia guess that GY’s unemployment rate was only 5% the other night did not add to my confidence either.

Here is What We KNOW
Listed below are all the recent new hires the city of Goodyear has made just in the last few months. Just the new hires salaries total over $600,000 per year! With benefits it may exceed $1.0 million dollars but I’m not doing that math. ALL of their salaries (which are well in excess of the median Goodyear household salary of about $71,000) are all paid out of the GENERAL FUND which is funded by the PRIMARY property tax, which rate just went up by 17.7%.

Let me repeat that (as GEOrgia likes to say), ALL of their salaries are ALL paid out of the GENERAL FUND which is funded by the PRIMARY property tax, which rate just went up by 17.7%.

Goodyear already has enough employees so that every GY working resident (~28,000) could have one full week of service per year from a Goodyear employee working for them. We need even more? Are you getting your one full week of dedicated personal service from your GY “public servants”?

New Hires; Over $600,000 per Year
Mark Holmes. Water Resources Manager. $107,492

Sheri Wakefield-Saenz. Development Services Manager. $121,436

Jeff Fiegenschuh. Deputy City Manager. $126,517

Kimberly Celaya. Lieutenant in charge of helping officers get promoted and, “better presenting themselves”. $88,107

Rob Bohr. GEOrgia assistant. $70,894

Doug Nintzel. Public Info Officer. $77,608

Jack Friedline. I’ve lost track of what he is doing now. He was a consultant getting paid in Public Works, then he was hired at the same time as interim deputy something or other, and now he is a full time Deputy City Manager. $A. LOT

Total; $592,054 and that does not include Friedline.

Ask Yourself These Two Important Questions;
1. Do you think they will lower rates when property values start to rebound, or do you think when revenues start going back up they’ll tell you, “see what a good job we’ve done, now we’re flush with cash”? YOUR CASH.
2. Do you think GEOrgia or any of the dwarfs even realize the rate went up 17.7% when they don’t even know GY’s unemployment rate?

PS To express your outrage over this, simply use my Council email address list. You find it near the top of the topic list on the left of my blog.

There is also a council election in March and that is the best use of your time and effort because the dwarfs are there due to city employee, developer, and public safety union PACS from around the state. And Creekers who like having 3 of 7 council members from PC, even though Creekers are getting it in the shorts more than anyone else. Why do they keep voting for these nincompoops?

*That means they can increase it as much as they want to overcome property value declines plus add in 2% more, plus add in anything they think they can justify for any new construction they have plus and law suits they have. Goodyear has a lot of lawsuits.

** Since Goodyear has exceeded its ability to bond any new money, “for the next five years” according to GY’s finance dept, they should not be able to raise this rate by much I would think since they shouldn’t have any new GO debt.


14 Responses

  1. Nothing has changed since 2008 as far as discipline in spending or accountability. I applaud you Howard. You took a longer more organized approach but you are making an impact. For those of you who don’t have a clue who I am or what I am talking about I encourage you to visit my website. I have not updated it since the fall of 08, but you will get the idea. YOUR CITY NEEDS EDUCATED, RESPONSIBLE, SERVING AND TENACIOUS CITIZENS AS MAYOR AND COUNCIL. As well as individuals that will REQUIRE ACCOUNTABILITY of city staff and seek and dismiss/prosecute those with their own agendas.

  2. Is there anyone out there that does not understand what happened? Let’s review. This is what happens when you elect a city council consisting of a majority of liberal democrats. While I understand the majority of the council members are registered republicans with a few “undisclosed”, they ALL govern as tax and spend liberals.

    Everyone was told this during the last election cycle. No one listened and the newspapers said that local elections are non-partisan. Non-partisan means that parties do not nominate an individual to run. It means that there can be more than one member of a party running in the same election.

    But party affiliation or membership indicates a person’s governing philosophy. Typically, democrats are proponents of growing government and increasing taxes, then spending it as quickly as possible without regard to debt or priorities. Conversely, republicans are proponents of small un-intrusive government and fiscal responsibility and conservatism.

    Now take a look at the current city administration. Has there been any demonstration of fiscal responsibility? Have taxes decreased commensurate with declining incomes and property values? Has the size of the city government decreased in line with declining revenue? If the answer to any of those questions is NO, then you are being governed by liberals.

    Now look at how the current city administration strong armed its way into their seats. What is the primary slogan they all used on all their election campaign material? “Endorsed (or supported) by fire and police.” That is wholly untrue. It is not only untrue and misleading, but it would be contrary to city ordinance. What the sign should say if it were truthful is “Endorsed (or supported) by the fire and police Unions.” Because that is what is the case. As a matter of fact, their primary funding came from several police and fire Unions throughout the State. Read their campaign finance reports. But they cannot say that because everyone knows that Unions support only democrats. Why? Because democrats are willing to use tax payer finances to enrich the lives of Union members and give them whatever they want at someone else’s expense.

    And has that not been borne out in the past two years? Have the fire and police union members not been given at least two salary increases since the last election? And have the police and fire unions not been given full Union rights to hold the city hostage whenever they want more?

    Is there not a story in Howard’s blog somewhere about one of the current city council members raising a large sum of money from a fund raiser in Phoenix given but members of the Arizona State Democrat Party?

    Pay attention people. It matters not what they tell you. If it walks like a democrat, talks like a democrat and acts like a democrat; you’ll probably be voting for a liberal.

  3. My opinion on political parties? It doesn’t matter. A liar is a liar is a liar. An uneducated person is uneducated. Period. And I don’t mean a college education. There are a lot of successful people who are educated that have never attended college a day in their lives. These are found in all “parties”. There should be a Morals party. An Honest party. A Sensible party. A Truth party. No one agrees with everything a “party” believes in. Instead of following a party and being a follower … LEAD.

  4. Hey Howard:
    You used the wrong Tax item. You used Goodyear City Bond Payments. The first two items on my tax bill is General County Fund followed by City of Goodyear, then Education. Yours shows neither. Where is General County Fund and City of Goodyear on your example.?

  5. Since Howard and friends like referring to PC, ‘(PC values have held up better than other areas in GY so the Creekers are getting a bigger stick in their eye than other neighborhoods).’, I’ll pass on good news.

    A recent test/retest has confirmed the PGA North Contamination Plume continues to re-expand west through PC. A new testing well, confirmed thru source at EPA SF in 8/12, is being planned. Sure will help values.

    Recent map disappeared, so I contacted EPA. Current links below.
    Never know if these open, but for fun and your realtor’s disclosures.!OpenDocument

    “Don’t worry grandchildren, the water is safe. The smell is the government.”

  6. Here is a typical PebbleCreek 2012 Goodyear Tax Bill.
    These figures are for 15742 W. La Reata Ave. in PebbleCreek.
    2011 2012 % Change
    City of Goodyear Primary $176.17 $192.29 + 9.2
    GY City Bonds $122.23 $114.78 – 6.5
    GY Utilities $186.50 $173.00 – 7.2

    Total: $484.90 $480.07 -1.0%
    This Homeowner actually had a five dollar reduction in his 2012 Goodyear Taxes not the big increases Howard asserts. additionally, he received thirteen dollars mor in State Aid in 2012.
    Information can be verified t Maricopa County Assessor’s and Treasurer’s Web Sites

  7. The point is: Primary Rate Increase vs Lower Assessment Value is a Zero Sum Game. I.E. No overall tax increase.

    • No. The point is, there has been nothing but additional spending going on in GY. And that is why they have raised the primary property tax rate by 17.7% this year and transferred surplus utility rate increase funds to pay for big government spending programs that do nothing but pad city employee and corporate welfare pocketbooks.

    • My dear uneducated Mr. Watts. An increased rate multiplied by a reduced assessment is not a SUM, but rather a PRODUCT. And the fact that it results in a ZERO is exactly the point. You can play with rates and assessments all your silly undernourished mind pleases. The point is that all of Goodyear, and the rest of the Country, should be paying less taxes, not more or the same amount for a devalued property. There should be no formula that increases or maintains revenue when the taxpayer income and property value have both decreased. That would be a tax increase by simple definition.

      So what you are trying to defend is indeed a tax increase. If property value decreases and the tax dollar amount does not decrease proportionately, the result is a tax increase. That is wholly unfair to the unrepresented taxpayers of Goodyear or any other City.

      Your unfounded loyalty to an incompetent and malfeasant city administration is adorable but ill-advised. Pay more attention to what they are doing for their own political advancement rather than their sworn duty to represent the taxpayers and be responsible stewards of their treasury.

      No Mr. Watts, you are wrong! Just as volts x amps = WATTS, tax rate increase x assessment decrease = tax increase. Now go plug yourself in.

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