City of Phoenix wastefully appealing CityNorth decision

Another example of irresponsible spending. The City of Phoenix is going to appeal a ruling striking down as unconstitutional its $97.4 million subsidy to a wealthy developer to build the luxury retail complex CityNorth. (item 50) Considering the dire fiscal straits Phoenix is in, why are taxpayers footing the bill for them to appeal this? The City of Phoenix is facing layoffs and interruptions of services, and needs to find $70 million in cuts over the next 18 months.

Cuts to city services, including library hours, park maintenance and graffiti cleanup, are all but certain….the city’s willingness to cut its public-safety budget, long held sacrosanct by City Council members, illustrates the tough times in which Phoenix finds itself. Five years ago, during the last round of significant cuts, police and fire escaped with their budgets intact.

So what is so important about preserving this developer subsidy?

The Court of Appeals found that the subsidy to a private developer violated the Arizona Constitution’s prohibition against gifts to private companies. Clint Bolick, the attorney for the Goldwater Institute, said that considering the city’s budget problems, walking away from the agreement would be a “sensible decision.”

Specific proposals to trim the budget won’t be unveiled until Feb. 19, followed by two weeks of hearings to solicit resident feedback. The budget is scheduled to be adopted March 11, with most cuts going into effect April 14.

Let’s hope appealing the CityNorth decision ends up on the chopping block.


  1. The all-powerful are simply unaccustomed to having their desires thwarted. It will take a little time for reality to set in. Well…. maybe.

  2. Your newspaper link is almost a month out of date. The budget cuts were enacted last week and are going into effect as we speak.

  3. Great post! I really enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work.

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