Phoenix faces more financial woes as tax collections were lower than projected

Sep 22, 2014, 6:00 AM | Updated: 6:00 am

PHOENIX — A few months after creating a new monthly tax on city services and raising rates and increasing hours for downtown parking meters, Phoenix city leaders are looking for more financial solutions.

According to the 2014-15 early budget review from Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher, city and state sales tax collections were lower than projected for 2013-14.

During Tuesday’s city council policy session, Zuercher plans to tell council members that the growth rate for 2014-15 should be lowered. According to a city report, Zuercher will cite recent tax collections and current forecasts in calling for revenue expectations to be reduced to $15.5 million for the current budget year.

The city recently dropped a proposal to install parking meters at popular hiking trailheads, which would have been a source of revenue for Phoenix, going into the city’s general fund. The city held an open house for public comment and took input from residents before ultimately deciding not to pursue the initiative.

Councilman Sal DiCiccio said he opposed to the parking meter proposal because he saw it as an extra tax on residents.

The councilman said that even though the dropped proposal was a victory for taxpayers, residents still have to worry about city staff looking at other ways to tax them.

“Staff has a mandate that they’re going to go out there and raise taxes and fees on the public — even though the city of Phoenix is going to realize more revenue this year than it ever has in the history of its existence,” DiCiccio said last month.

The KTAR Newsroom contributed to this report.

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Phoenix faces more financial woes as tax collections were lower than projected