No government has ever spent its way to prosperity. Our proposals help governments be fiscally responsible so citizens can be prosperous.
Three law firms dominate the legal work that goes into issuing state and local government debt in Arizona, according to a review of bond documents done by the Goldwater Institute. That finding is consistent with what bond lawyers and government officials have said in interviews about the industry.
It was almost like the gold rush all over again in Stockton, California. With booming property values and tax revenue during the past decade, city coffers were flush and cash was flying to sports arenas, retail centers, office buildings, and parking garages.
By Trey Kovacs
By Lisa Halverstadt and Cecilia Chan, AzCentral
Lawyers for the Goldwater Institute (the de facto Supreme Court of Arizona) used the hammer that is the “gift clause” in the Arizona Constitution to deliver a blow to the Phoenix police union.
While state lawmakers are to be congratulated for passing a balanced budget and largely holding the line on spending increases, there is an unnecessary $11 million spending increase tucked in the nooks and crannies. That’s the additional contribution to the state’s financially troubled retirement funds for state workers.
Recent news from the solar industry includes headlines about Germany cutting solar subsidies and Arizona-based First Solar laying off 30 percent of its employees.
How do you close a $35 million budget gap? Perhaps the better question is why that hole was dug in the first place. One answer for the City of Glendale is hockey. In fiscal year 2012, the city added $20 million (up from only $1.2 million the year before) to its operating budget for the Jobing.com Arena, where the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team plays. The NHL has been demanding financial support from the city since 2009, when the team filed for bankruptcy.
Amid calls for increased state spending and fears of 2014 program cuts, some are calling for extending 2010’s sales tax increase indefinitely. However, Arizonans should understand how much their state and local governments cost before we let them charge us even more.
The graph below shows state and local governments’ direct expenditures as a percentage of private GDP for four states and the 50-state U.S. average from 1985 through 2009. This cost-of-government measure reflects government’s affordability to taxpayers.