Goodyear: Alabama of Arizona


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323469804578525650887954408.html

Jefferson County Alabama is coming out of bankruptcy after many years of over borrowing (like Goodyear) and over spending (like Goodyear) by the local yokel public officials (like Goodyear) down in Alabama.
The outcome of this fiasco gives taxpayers an idea of the template that might be used by future courts to dole out “fair” punishment to voters like those in Jeff County (and Goodyear) for being so stupid as to keep re-electing a bunch of moron public officials who just kept adding to their overwhelming debt (like Goodyear).
In summary, here is what the courts just ruled in Jeff County:
1. Bond holders take a 30% haircut on their investments. That is, they lose one dollar of every three dollars they loaned Jeff County and they get to handle the re-financing. Oh yeah, most of the debt DOES NOT go away!
2. Taxpayers get hit with a 31% increase in their tax bills related to the debt that was forgiven.

Coincidence that these percentages are so close? I doubt it. How much more complicated math would you expect from some judge and a bunch of lawyers who never had to master algebra?

How would all you fixed income retirees living in Goodyear like to get a 31% increase in your property tax bills in order to pay for GEOrgia et al’s stupidity handling your money and borrowing to build unused stadiums, malls that don’t get built, and $12 mil dollar buildings that only appraise at $8 mil and then find the city is still “loaned up” under a slightly smaller mountain of debt?
Did you notice Goodyear increased your secondary property tax rate again this year in order to keep funding their debt?

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How Much of Your Tax Money Will GY’s “Retired” Former Fire Chief Get?


Editor’s note: Don’t blame the former chief. Kudos to him for playing the system so well. He’s won fair and square. The problem is with the morons (voters) who keep allowing this to happen.

GY’s former fire chief recently, “retired” after, according to the newspaper, a damaging consultant report told the city what a lousy job he’d been doing. The 49 year old, now disgraced, former chief will retire with “full benefits” plus, GY gave him an over $50,000 kiss goodbye.

The nice folks over at Goldwater Institute put me on to a web site that will, within reason, give you a pretty good estimate of what someone’s public pension will be.

So I put in the information I know about GY’s recently “retired” 49 year old former fire chief.

Here is what I know:

  1. According to the newspaper he is retiring with “full benefits” at age 49.
  2. Also according to the paper, in his last year of work he made $153,000. Now I also know that according to Goodyear, there have been precious few salary increases over the past few years. So I used $150,000 to answer the question, “what was your final average salary”?
  3. I assumed he started work at age 16 in order to give 33 years of service and try to get a complete “full retirement” amount.
  4. The web site (here it is) allows you to pick the state, what type of job he had, his age, years of service, etc. It appears to be pretty complete.

So according to the web site, how much are we tax payers going to pay GY’s former fire chief who only worked for 30 some years, to stay at home for the next 30 to 40 years?

$120,000 per year

And, according to the same web site, how much should we expect to pay him from now until he dies?

$2,547,552.00

WOW!

And you’re also going to pay for most of his health care too.

Want to figure out how much of a pension you are going to pay any public servant to sit on their butt for the next several decades?
Like say GY city manager Chairman Brian Dalke with his $186,000 salary?
Or how about the GY administrative assistant (secretary) who is making over $80,000 per year?

Here you go: calculate my pension AZ.

Property Tax Rates Going Up 7.34% (again) in Goodyear


Editor’s note. There are 5,000 plus lemming like voters who live in Goodyear who keep re-electing the same liberal, tax and spend seven dwarf council members to the Goodyear city council along with GEOrgia Lord, the city mayor who does not know what the unemployment rate is in her city. You 5,000 plus lemmings DESERVE these latest property tax rate increases. The rest of the 20,000 plus registered Goodyear voters who did not even bother to return your mail in ballots? You deserve the increased property taxes too.

Did you read your most recent Infocus Magazine, the city of Goodyear’s publicly funded political propaganda newspaper? Don’t you just love how they tell you they’re going to soak you again for more tax revenue while they try to make you feel like you are going to like these increases? Everything is getting better, they say, but the city budget is still, “conservative”. Revenues are projected at $73 million.

But guess what, those $73 million in revenues are projected AFTER they raise your property tax rates over 7%.

Chairman Brian (GY city manager Brian Dalke) says they, “want to be cautious despite growth in revenues”. Yeah, growth in revenues AFTER they raise your property tax rates over 7%.

And look how they try to minimize and marginalize the increase. Only, “61 cents per month on a home valued at $120,000”. When they tried to take credit for job growth, they quoted a “61%” increase. But now they don’t like to use percentages. They don’t want to tell you they’re increasing your rates over 7%. “61 cents per 120,000 in valuation” sounds soooo much easier to take. 61 cents is about 20 times greater than the reduction on a $100 grocery bill as a result of their glamorized food tax change that they swooned over last year. And you get to pay it every month whether you like it or not. And if you happen to own a home in Pebble Creek worth, say, $360,000, you’re going to pay $22 more than you would have in order to allow Chairman Brian to give he and his employees more pay raises and better support their defined benefit retirement plans that just allowed Goodyear’s 49 year old, inept, $150,000 per year plus fire chief to retire with FULL BENEFITS for the rest of his expected 30 to 40 plus year lifetime on your dime.

Think about that for a minute. A 49 year old who was making $150,000 per year when he got booted out for incompetence is going to retire on your dime for the next 30 to 40 years. Even if he started working full time at age 16 to 19, he is going to be collecting FULL BENEFITS based upon his HIGHEST LIFETIME SALARY for many many years longer than he WORKED IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE.

Did you get that? He’s retiring at 49. If he started working at 16 he’s WORKED 33 years. Now, based upon his HIGHEST EVER annual salaries in his entire 33 year career, YOU are going to pay him to stay home for the next 30 to 40 years.

Higher and Higher Spending in Goodyear
You’re reading this blog and you’re surprised at tax rates going up? Are you kidding me? Do you think Goodyear is spending less money through a recession? They have spent more money every year since 2010, and they spent $8 million more in 2009 than they did in 2008. Right through the recession.

Their marketing tag line (they pay a lot of public policy marketers big bucks in Goodyear to figure out how to tell you stuff so you’ll like it) is:

“BUDGET ON TARGET”

But guess what, the TARGET, is YOU. The property tax payer.

Chairman Brian goes on to tell you that because home valuations on the tax roles have still not recovered enough, “to cover … expenses” Goodyear will once again need to increase your property tax rates. “The unfortunate result is the need to adjust the rate to cover the shortfall” says Brian.

Adjust the rate to cover the shortfall? C’mon man! That’s backwards isn’t it? Aren’t you supposed to reduce the spending to cover the shortfall? How about firing a few $100,000 plus marketing employees? How about not overpaying for buildings? How about cancelling Infocus magazine in order to save some money?

The Facts
Here is an article I wrote over a year ago showing you that Goodyear has spent MORE and MORE money each year since 2008 as revenues fell. Spending Article. And how much are they going to spend this year? The simple, one word answer is, “MORE”. Upwards of $73 million of your tax dollars. Compare that to 2010 when they spent $66 million.

You bet they’re on target. The target is your wallet.

Feel like expressing yourself? georgia.lord@goodyearaz.gov

Tomorrow: Just how much of your tax money will the former fire chief get?

Lower Property Taxes = Better Schools = Higher Property Values


Don’t believe me?

I think we can at least all agree that BETTER schools mean HIGHER property values can’t we?

But how can LOWER property taxes equal BETTER schools?

Think about this. Look at your most recent property tax bill which you received from the Maricopa County Tax Assessor’s office. Go ahead, I’ll wait until you get it out of the file you put it in. If you can’t find it, look at the one I showed you as an example in this previous blog. 17.7% Primary Property Tax Increase.

There are OVER TWENTY DIFFERENT property taxes on your tax bill. All the property taxes listed on your tax bill COMPETE with school taxes. But there are only TWO taxes which when efficiently spent DIRECTLY make your property values go up.

  1. School Taxes (better schools drive home values)
  2. Public Safety Taxes (safer neighborhoods drive home values)

If the city of Goodyear would simply stop spending so much money on nonsense like over priced buildings, fancy web sites, giving money to corporations who would come here anyway, paying high salaries to overpaid economic development wonks who have never had a for profit job in their lives, and LOWER your property tax, then they would not compete for your dollars for schools and public safety.  Instead, the city of Goodyear has:

  1. Spent more than $35 million more than it has taken in since 2008.
  2. Raised your primary property tax rate by 17.7% this past year.
  3. Skimmed over $3 million dollars per year from utility over charges into the General Fund
  4. Spent nearly $600,000 just this year on new non-essential hires.

Think about it Goodyear. Goodyear spends more money on INTEREST PAYMENTS each year than they do on police and fire combined and yet they went out and borrowed $10 million dollars from a bank to buy an overpriced building that they were paying “bonus rent” to the landlord.

Check out what the average school teacher makes in Goodyear vs what the average Goodyear city employee makes. NO COMPARISON.

I’d want the money spent where it benefits me the most. Schools and Public Safety. By reducing property taxes, Goodyear would make it easier for local schools to get the funding they need. Better schools mean higher property values, payback for taxpayer dollars.

Undisputed Facts


Our Mayor.

In Goodyear, taxes go up while services go down. The current city council increases spending and mismanages residents’ tax money. They publish council person “photo galleries” on their web site and hire $80,000 assistants for the mayor and $60,000 politically connected assistants for city council. Mayor Assistant. Council Assistant. The mayor thinks the unemployment rate is 5% when it is actually closer to 9%.  5% mayor.  This mismanagement puts essential services like police and fire and public works at risk for all residents. City Employees at risk.

At the same time, the current city council misleads residents telling them that Goodyear has been “living within our means” and passing “balanced” budgets each year.  What they say.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The following are undisputed financial facts about the city of Goodyear, most of which have been confirmed in writing by city officials and are available on this blog;
1. From 2008, until the most recent budget, Goodyear spent $35 million dollars MORE from its General Fund than it took in.  $35 mil confirmed.
2. For the past few years, Goodyear has skimmed over $3 million dollars per year of excess charges for utility services (water, waste water, sanitation) into the General Fund in order to avoid cost cutting in general operations. $3 mil confirmed
3. In 2012 alone, Goodyear added over $600,000 dollars per year in new hires, all but one of those in non-essential areas. List of New Hires.
4. Goodyear has more debt per capita than the bankrupt city of Stockton California and Goodyear has approached the state of Arizona’s constitutional limit on debt for a city.  According to Goodyear’s own finance department, the city has lost its bonding ability for perhaps, “the next five years”.  Debt Limit.  GY vs Stockton.
5. Since they could not issue bonds for debt, the city recently borrowed $10 million dollars from a bank and paid $12 million dollars for a building from a local developer that was appraised by the city’s own appraiser as being worth only $9 million dollars.  Building facts.  Building Lies from GY.
6. Goodyear raised residents’ primary property tax rate 17.7% in the most recent tax year. Tax Increase.

There is a city council election in March of 2013 when four of the seven city council and mayor seats will be in play. But candidates have to register by December 13.  So far, only the incumbents and their surrogates have filed.  Campaign Underway.

Here is how to run for Goodyear City Council. Run.

Another GY Assistant Hired @ $61,000


Goodyear has hired again. This time an assistant to city council for $61,000 per year.
They are just thumbing their noses at taxpayers, folks.

And what are this new assistant’s qualifications? 2008 ASU grad in “interdisciplinary studies” and worked mostly for free (intern) for McCain campaign and “attending community events”.

And what will this new assistant do?
“Provide support and represent council at meetings”.

Sounds to me like someone who knows someone who knows McCain got some wet behind the ears kid a $61,000 per year job in GY.*

This stuff is not going to change in GY unless and until four people get off their butts and run for city council. I’ve done my job pointing out the mismanagement and over spending. Where are the rest of you?

*you can ask John McCain about that by sending him a link to this blog article.  Here is where you ask McCain questions; McCain email link.

GY’s New $3.5 Million Dollar 911 Center


Goodyear is spending $3.5 million dollars because a building the size of your house (which can ONLY handle up to five operators at once) is not enough for our police department to handle on average ONE 911 CALL EVERY 20 MINUTES.

According to today’s AZ Republic, Goodyear is breaking ground on a new 10,000 sq ft 911 center that will cost taxpayers $3.5 million dollars. That is because they have “outgrown” their old one that is only 8 years old, needs a new air conditioner, and has not been properly sprayed for pests in the past.  They let a contract earlier this year to build it somewhere else but now they’ve changed their minds and are going to put it in the new $8 million dollar Venida Business Center for which the city of Goodyear just paid over $12 million. (the $3.5 million of for the 911 center is in addition to the $12.1 Goodyear paid for the building).

I wonder what they are going to do with the place that they let the contract on earlier this year and are now abandoning?  I’m sure they’ll think of something.

Goodyear had 25,000 911 calls the past year and expects that to grow to 29,000 this year (I don’t know how they know that). They have ‘only’ five work stations today to handle all those calls.

Let’s Analyze
25,000 calls per year is 3 per HOUR. One every 20 minutes.  And up to five people are working in “cramped” 2,000 sq ft conditions, to answer all three calls per hour. By the way, 2,000 sq feet is bigger than most people’s ENTIRE HOUSE.

So Goodyear is spending $3.5 million dollars because a building the size of your house (which can ONLY handle up to five operators at once) is not enough for our police department to handle ONE CALL EVERY 20 MINUTES.

Now I’m sure some of you are out there saying, “nothing is too good for whatever Goodyear police and fire need”.  But how hard do you think they’d be laughing at this in NYC, Detroit, Atlanta, or even Phoenix?

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