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There are 135 item(s) tagged with the keyword "Taxes".

21. A Billion Dollar Tax Increase? Vote NO on Proposition 480
Tags: Taxes
22. Mesa's Debt Bomb, thanks to former Mayor Scott Smith
Tags: Taxes, Mesa
23. National BMX Bicycle Racing on Greenfield/Germaine
Tags: Town Council, Taxes, Economy
24. Brewer Attacks Popular Latino Lawmaker Montenegro
Tags: Medicaid Expansion, Taxes
25. Gilbert Public Schools - Another Property Tax Override?

by Patrick O'Malley
Precinct Committeeman LD12

Gilbert Public Schools (GPS) finished their zero based budgeting process some time ago and were given several budget options from which to choose.  They could have gone for steeper cuts in the budget immediately (option C), but chose less cuts this year and are now discussing asking the voters for an override to avoid the additional cuts that will come up next year. A 10% override has been mentioned, but there are no specific proposals yet.

Almost every school district has one or more property tax overrides in place. It’s the new normal. Capital improvement overrides provide additional money for a specific purpose, like a major upgrade of a school district’s computer system. Maintenance and Operation (M&O) overrides provide schools with additional money for everyday expenses. Theoretically they are used to get past a financial rough patch, but there aren’t any examples of that happening. Instead, the school spends the money like it will be there forever, and as the time approaches for the override to expire, they begin the process of asking the voters for another override to keep the money coming. That’s what is being talked about at GPS.

What Happened to the Technology Override Money?

Another issue with overrides is that the additional money doesn’t always get used the way it was sold to voters. In 2007 GPS voters passed a $57.4 million dollar capital override for computers and internet access. That’s a lot of technology, $1400 per student, but where are the results? There are a few technology bright spots within GPS, but overall the capability is fair to poor.

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Tags: School Board, Taxes, Economy
26. Maricopa Community College District's Security Breach Costing $20 Million

No wonder the governing board raised tuition and also wants more money from the taxpayers.  In keeping with government employee tradition of no accountability, they will demand raises and probably get them!

The Maricopa County Community College District governing board has approved an additional $2.3 million in lawyers' fees to deal with the computer-security breach that occurred last year.

The board also approved spending $300,000 to deal with records management, pushing the total amount authorized for the breach to nearly $20 million.

Last week, the governing board approved the $2.3 million allocation to the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, which has a Phoenix office, to handle two class-action lawsuits that have been filed over the breach.

Last November, the district disclosed that hackers had invaded a computer server in April 2013, exposing Social Security numbers and banking information of 2.4 million current and former students, faculty members and vendors from as far back as 30 years ago.

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Tags: Schools, Taxes
27. Maricopa Community College District Plans to Raise Taxes (again) by Another 2 Percent

As true unemployment numbers continue to rise, it isn't the private sector that suffers.  It's the government sector!  In keeping with tradition, Maricopa Community College plans once again to squeeze more juice out of the lemon.    

Such a small amount.  So is "death by a thousand paper cuts."

This is just the beginning.  You will probably see more calls for K-12 overrides, too, so hang on.    

Here's the article:

The Maricopa Community Colleges Governing Board will host a public hearing on May 27 to receive input on a proposed property tax increase.

The board is proposing a 2-percent increase that would raise taxes from $125.73 a year home with an assessed value of $100,000 to $128.24.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Maricopa Community Colleges District Office, located at 2411 W. 14th St. in Tempe.

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Tags: Taxes, Schools
28. Scott "Light Rail" Smith Uses Funding Scheme that Avoids Public Vote

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge David Udall has ruled that Mesa property owners won't be on the hook for $130,000,000 for a 1.9 mile light rail extension that 98% of them will never use, so there is no need for the Mesa taxpayers to have a vote on the project.  

The extension will run along Main Street, from Mesa Drive to Gilbert Rd.  

Mesa resident and business owner Joe Price, through his attorney Gary Lassen, had filed a lawsuit presenting facts and precedents which they asserted clearly demonstrates the Arizona Constitution's requirement that a public vote was mandated.

The judge rejected the plaintiff's arguments, stating that the funding will come from TPANs (Transit-Project Advancement notes), and that the law states that the notes "are not general obligations of a political subdivision" and that they are to be paid from transportation funds or "other monies lawfully available for application to that purpose."  Thus, the law does not require a public vote before TPANs are issued.

Gubernatorial candidate Scott "Light Rail" Smith (aka Scott "Common Core" Smith) came up with this  funding scheme that gets around the pesky public vote.  Were there's a determination to spend taxpayer dollars on government boondoggles, there's a "funding mechanism" to the rescue.  

The judge is basically saying that if things go haywire, the buyers of the TPANs get stuck, not the Mesa taxpayers.  Mr. Price, who also publishes Mesa Watch, says this is nonsense.  Sophisticated buyers of millions of dollars in municipal bonds will want some guarantees.
 

According to Price, the Light Rail was promised by Valley Metro and Mesa to promote economic development. That hasn't happened. Quite the opposite. Family owned businesses have been destroyed. A few low income housing developments are supposed to provide the economic development to replace the thousands of jobs and businesses lost due to Light Rail construction. 

This is the type of building project that Light Rail has brought to Main Street in Mesa and all down Apache Boulevard in Tempe. 

In case you were wondering: that IS the final color.  This was funded in part by you (through the City of Mesa and AZ Department of Housing); and you can see it in person if you drive west from Main and Dobson. 

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Tags: Taxes, Mesa
29. Peter Schiff Ridiculed in August 2006 when he Predicted the Recession of 2007

Remember this televised debate between Peter Schiff and Art Laffer on August 28, 2006?  Schiff correctly predicted the Great Recession, and he was soundly ridiculed by Laffer and the moderator on Kudlow & Company.  Pay attention to everything that Peter Schiff said.  It all came true in December 2007, for exactly the reasons that Schiff stated.  

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Tags: Economy, Taxes
30. BMX Coming to Your Neighborhood? Come to the Open House April 8

Some projects are just not appropriate next to a residential neighborhood, no matter how much money Gilbert thinks it's going to make.  This is one of them.  

Isn't it the local government's responsibility to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens?  Should local government introduce a project with known high noise and traffic levels next to the homes of Gilbert residents who seek a retreat from noise and traffic?  

Even if you don't live in the affected neighborhood, do you care about your neighbor's quality of life?  Or just your own?  As Mike Webb puts it, are you a PIITBY?  (Put it in Their Back Yard)  

What about the cost of this public/private partnership?  If things don't go quite right, who gets left holding the debt?  BMX or Gilbert citizens? 

The Town of Gilbert will be holding a second BMX Open House on Tuesday, April 8 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM, at 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert.  It seems that, after the first open house, some residents started asking some "vetting questions" that hadn't been asked by the Town of Gilbert or the Town Council.  Were they too mezmerized by the dog and pony show put on by BMX?  

Mike Webb asked some of those very important vetting questions ignored by others.  See Is Gilbert Really Serious about BMX?  

Here's the news article regarding the open house:  Second BMX Open House Scheduled for April 8.  

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Tags: Town Council, Taxes, Economy

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