Fast Fun Facts About City of Goodyear Finances


img_0094

We have an election coming up on March 14, 2017 in Goodyear.

In 2013, Georgia Lord, Joe Pizzillo, and Wally Campbell were elected Goodyear mayor and council members.  All three are running again this year.

During the four years since you elected these three, they have increased the City of Goodyear’s budget over 30% just during their most recent terms.

Here is a link to the City of Goodyear’s 2016-17 Budget.  2016-17 GY Budget.

Here is a link to the City of Goodyear’s 2012-13 Budget. 2012-13 GY Budget.

Everything I include below is directly from Goodyear’s own budget documents.
Go ahead, use the links to check my math if you like, I expect you to.

  1. In FY2017 Goodyear’s budget is $254 million dollars.
    In FY2013 Goodyear’s budget was $192 million dollars.  That is a 32% increase in Goodyear’s budget in only 4 years, or over 8% per year.
  2. In 2017 Goodyear budgets 548 FTE (full time equivalent employees).
    In 2013 there were only 511. An increase of 37 employees.
  3. In 2013 the Mayor and Council expenditures budget was $251,000.
    In 2017 the Mayor and Council expenditures budget is $328,000.  That’s a 37% increase.
  4. Compare that to other city expenditures to be fair, you say?
    In 2013 the Fire Department budget was 102 FTE and $14.4 million dollars.
    In 2017, the Fire Department budget was 102 FTE and $16.5 million dollars. A 14% increase. Less than half of what your mayor and city council have budgeted for themselves.

I hope to interview the four candidates running against Georgia, Pizzillo, and Campbell in another post but here is a quick summary.

  1. Jim Cavanaugh wants to be mayor again. He says he will cut spending.
  2. There is a former ice skater named Sara Gilligan who apparently thinks the world of the incumbents (they’re “solid” she says on her website).
  3. Brannon Hampton is trying again for city council. I interviewed him the last time he ran and at least he has some business background.
  4. Jason Black is a principal at a local school.

Based upon the tax and spend track records noted above of the incumbents, I don’t know how any of those running to unseat them could be any worse.

Advertisements

How To Cut Goodyear City Council’s Property Tax Increase in HALF


If Goodyear city council would simply eliminate their own city subsidized healthcare, dental, and life insurance benefits packages, Goodyear could easily save HALF of Goodyear city council’s proposed 2% property tax increase to taxpayers and pass along the savings by reducing the proposed increase to 1%.

I’m not talking about benefit reductions to any other city employees, just the seven council members.

If GY city council had the will to do it, it’s that easy.

From Goodyear’s own website, Goodyear City Council’s proposed 2% property tax increase is expected to raise $153,000.

Just the three recently re-elected Goodyear council members Stipp, Osborne, and Lauritano who all ran as “fiscal conservatives” less than 90 days ago, receive annual health, dental, and life insurance benefits of over $60,000 per YEAR

Just for these three.

Add in the rest of the 7 dwarfs’ benefits package costs and HALF of your proposed 2% property tax increase could be eliminated.

I did not hear any of the re-elected incumbents tell voters that they were running for re-election for the city provided healthcare benefits, did you? If the recently re-elected “fiscal conservatives” are really serving on Goodyear city council as “public servants” why not just eliminate their luxurious benefits package and pass along a 50% reduction in YOUR property tax increase?

I’ll tell you why. Because Stipp, Osborne, Lauritano, and Pizzillo are all on city council for the free health care, that’s why. Where else can you get free health care for attending nine three hour meetings a YEAR and when you can even have other jobs and call in to the meetings?

Don’t belive me?  You have the opportunity to ask them why they won’t do it at their June 22 public meeting  to take questions about the tax increase.

Unless they decide not to respond to questions just like at city council meetings.

* 18 month data. Multiply by 2/3 to annualize.
Joanne Osborne
Salary: $12,511.67
Benefits including personal and family healthcare, dental plan, and basic life insurance: $29,948.32
Travel Expenditures: $4,642.72
Total Expenditures: $47,102.71

Bill Stipp
Salary: $12,384.75
Benefits including personal and family healthcare, dental plan, and basic life insurance: $29,876.56
Travel Expenditures: $3,225.87
Total Expenditures: $45,487.18

Sheri Lauritano
Salary: $12,384.75
Benefits including personal and family healthcare, dental plan, and basic life insurance: $29,852.76
Travel Expenditures: $3,950.36
Total Expenditures: $46,187.87

 

All three of these individuals ran on promises of “fiscal conservatism.” In order to cut the recently announce

Tax Increase Will Pay For GY Council’s New Spending On THEMSELVES


Goodyear’s announced plan to increase property taxes 2% or about $150,000 will just about cover the new spending that Goodyear City Council has approved for ITSELF since 2008.

In 2008, Goodyear spent $177,000 on “Mayor and City Council.”

In 2014, Goodyear City Council budgeted over $300,000 on “Mayor and City Council,” a difference of $125,000 plus.

One could say that they are just raising your taxes to pay themselves more. That is a more than 70% increase in a little over 5 years…. During a recession.

AND YOU PEOPLE JUST RE-ELECTED THREE OF THEM!

More details here:

https://howardsgoodyearblog.com/2015/01/29/government-dream-jobs-goodyear-city-council/

And The Shell Game Goes On


photo

Did you recently get the fiscal management political advertisement from the City of Goodyear?  (see photo above). I wonder how much of your tax dollars they wasted producing and mailing this piece of propaganda?

They want you to believe that everything is just fine and dandy in Goodyear and especially what a GREAT job they are doing managing your tax dollars.

HA!

So bear with me, and I’ll tell you what is going on using THEIR BROCHURE!

First, IGNORE the back side of the brochure that is titled, “Strategic Focus Areas”.  This is just a bunch of crap to sell you on their new General Plan (to spend your money). If you can’t even trust their numbers, which is the side I will focus on below, then you certainly can’t trust anything else they fabricate.

Let’s start on the left. “Where The Money Comes From”.  Total is $222 million.

First take out all the FAKE stuff.

The $2.3 mil GRANTs is fake, (they use the marketing term, “placeholder” to say FAKE) the $18.6 Proposed Infrastructure is fake, and get this….  the FUND BALANCE is $52.3 mil THEY HAVE PREVIOUSLY COLLECTED FROM YOU.

FUND BALANCE is just the city’s checking account. They are mixing up existing dollars with new tax revenue they PLAN to collect. It is money that they have OVERCOLLECTED from you in the past but it DOES make all the percentages look better for them when they add it in.  In essence, there are only two significant revenue streams for the city.  Property taxes ($93.7 mil) and Enterprise Fund (Public Works, $42 mil).

Take all the rest from their $222 mil and you get….  $148.8 million.  Remember that number.

Now, let’s go to the right, “Where The Money Goes”.

Start again with $222 (their number) take out $14 One Time Initiatives, (this is political speak for “slush fund”. ever wonder how council members can spend money that wasn’t budgeted when they ask about it in council meetings?  There you go) take out $16.3 mil Contingency (fake), and take out $20.8 mil “Potential” Funding also FAKE (don’t you just love their imaginative lingo?  Potential Funding. Tell your credit card company that is how you’re going to pay for something).

Balance on the spending side is now $171 mil.

NOW here is the important part.
Take out the $26 million debt service (which is interest payments only, no pay down of capital, we’re never going to own any of this stuff at this rate, we’ll have to re-finance it).  and you get… $145 mil.

Familiar?  $148.8 collecting, $145 spending.

Summary; Remove the debt payments and guess what?  Revenues and spending are about equal at between $145 – $150 million.  Simple?

NOW WATCH CAREFULLY, HERE IS THE PAYOFF
On the revenue side you see, “$42 mil Enterprise Fund“.  This is what they are COLLECTING FROM YOU for water, sewer, trash, etc.

NOW, on the spending side you see, “$21.3 mil Public Works”.

Collecting $42, spending only $21.3?  What gives?

THEY ARE COLLECTING TWICE AS MUCH AS WHAT IT COSTS TO PROVIDE THE PUBLIC WORKS.  And that gives them an excess collection on Public Works of…. You guessed it, $21 plus million, which when added to the about $4 mil they are over collecting on other taxes is HOW THEY ARE PAYING FOR THE DEBT SERVICE INTEREST PAYMENTS.

Proper fiscal management?  No way. What they should be doing is LOWERING their capital expenditures first, and then reducing ANY spending on ANYTHING that is not Public Safety and Public Works.  Instead, GY spends $9 mil on support services, $9 mil on General Government, and over $6 mil on Development. That’s almost $25 mil folks.

So next time ANYONE from the city of Goodyear or City Council tells you how “careful” they are being with your tax money (and raising your property taxes this year… again) just tell them you are already ON to them.  They’re just overcharging for services that you rely on so that they can keep spending like drunken sailors.

And those are just the facts, folks, using THEIR numbers.

Have a good day and remember, YOU elected them.

Only 2%? I Don’t Think So


Editor’s note: Talk about incompetent.  An observant reader has pointed out that the date in the tax rate increase notice posted by the city of GY and included as a link in the following article is incorrect.  GY says the meeting is Monday, June 24.  June 24 is a Tuesday.  They just can’t do anything right, can they?

Does this mean that the tax rate increase notification as required by law is invalid?  And they can’t raise our taxes as a result? 

What a bunch of nincompoops spending YOUR tax dollars….  And oh yes, the mall is going to open any day now….

Editor’s note 2. This afternoon the link to GY’s rate increase no longer works. Obviously they are reading my blog and have realized their mistake.

Goodyear is about to raise your tax RATE by 2%. Here is the notice:
Rate increase notice

But wait a minute. Your home valuations are going up by 5% per year or more, but by law GY can only take 5% of that as increased property tax. So the 2% adder will be in addition to that. 7%. And that added RATE will continue to be applied year after year as your property values go up. Over the next at least 3 years, you will see that increase at the maximum 5% every year. So the 2% rate increase will be applied to all of those 15% increases.

Remember when they told you they were only raising rates because property values were dropping and they were just staying even?

Remember when they told you that they were not spending more of your money, just the same amounts because they were such conservative stewards of your taxes?

Remember when I told you they were full of it?

GY Parade Motorcycles $36,000 Each


I’m not kidding.  From a recent article in the Arizona Republic.

THIRTY SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH for GYPD motorcycles.
More than I think I’ve ever paid for a car; and I think I’m pretty well off.

Can you imagine how some young couple living in Goodyear would feel reading this with a couple of kids, paying property taxes, one working in some service job, the other part time at Walmart, trying to make ends meet on maybe a combined $65,000 annual paycheck?  And Goodyear is out buying $36,000 motorcycles. And one is a spare.

In this broke town of Goodyear, your city council approved the purchase of five new motorcycles, and one is a spare to be used part time for “training” and PARADES.

They are thumbing their nose at you, taxpayers, all the while raising your taxes in 5% plus increments for years to come.

Double Dip Stipp, Lawyer Lauritano, and Deer in the Headlights Osborne are up for re-election in November (if it happens).

Will anyone even run against them?

Or are you going to elect them all again?

Georgia’s 7% Solution


Last year GY increased your tax rate by over 7.3% and by over 17% the year before that.

This year GY has increased your tax levy by over 7%.

GY just keeps on spending more and more of your tax money.  And most of it is on increased personnel, more admin, and more personnel benefits for city employees.

Examples

  1. 100% increase in personnel spend in Economic Development.
    In 2011 Personnel spending in GY Economic Development Dept was $285,000.  In 2013, $612,000. More than double. And that’s in only two years.  And during a recession.  And what have we gotten from all that spend? Well, Suntech left with over $500,000 of your tax dollars.  How’s that for a successful program?
  2. 50% increase in Parks and Rec spend.
    Parks and Rec in GY spent $3.9 million in 2011.  Their 2014 budget is $4.9 million. P&R ADMIN personnel spend is up by over 25% from $1.2 mil to $1.5 mil in the same period.
    GY has budgeted nearly $5 million dollars for Parks and Rec in 2013-14. FIVE MILLION.  And that does NOT include the money losing Stadium.  In 2007 Parks & Rec spent $3.4 million. That’s a 50% INCREASE from 2007 to 2013-14.
    Have you seen a 50% improvement in your GY parks?
  3. 117% increase in Mayor and council spend.
    Mayor and council office. 2010 Actual, $170,000.  2012 Actual, $377,000.  Trips to Washington, a new Harvard education for Joanne, rubbing shoulders with Obama at the League of Cities.  It all costs money.

I have included a summary of GY spending since 2010 below.

GY’s 2013-14 operating Budget is $85 million.  GY spent $66.1 million in 2010.  Nearly 1/3 higher in only 3 years.

But there are 5,000 plus faithful voters in GY who keep re-electing the same old connected bunch who are dearly loved by the employees and suppliers of the city of Goodyear as well as the developers and business interests who fund their election campaigns.

2010 $66.1
2011 $67.4
2012 $71.2
2013 est $74.7
2014 budget $85

I’ve been telling you this for a few years now.  The Do-Nothings.

%d bloggers like this: