City & Local Reform
It turns out that you can fight town hall. Here’s how we’re standing up for local citizens and winning.
Phoenix--Today the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in favor of the Goldwater Institute, deciding the $97.4 million taxpayer subsidy given to the developer of the CityNorth shopping mall by the City of Phoenix is unconstitutional.
"Santa got a head start on Christmas this year," said Goldwater Institute litigation director Clint Bolick. "This ruling is an early present for the citizens of Phoenix."
PHOENIX-Seattle's privately-led downtown revitalization project boosted taxable sales 15.8 percent, double the previous average growth rate, and put Seattle at the top of the rankings for retail, dining, and entertainment. One of the nation's most successful redevelopment projects, Seattle's Pacific Place redeveloped three city blocks and created more than one million square feet of new retail space without resorting to eminent domain.
PHOENIX - The Scottsdale City Council will vote Tuesday to approve a controversial plan to turn the site of the former Los Arcos mall into a business park. Scottsdale officials plan to invoke the city charter's emergency clause to prevent a voter referendum on the $130 million project.
PHOENIX - The Phoenix city council will vote this afternoon on whether to build a 1,000-room downtown hotel at public expense. If approved, Phoenix residents will foot the bill for the estimated $350 million project.
Phoenix-In a report released today by the Goldwater Institute, Hudson Institute adjunct fellow David Dodenhoff argues that Scottsdale should continue its contract with Rural/Metro, the private company that has provided the city's fire service since 1951, rather than create a publicly-run, municipal fire department. The controversy over the future of fire services in Scottsdale will culminate in a special election on May 20, 2003.
Phoenix-According to new Census Bureau figures, Maricopa County grew faster than any other county in the nation during the fifteen months from April 2000 to July 2001. While some see this growth as a cause for alarm, Goldwater Institute economist Robert Franciosi believes that Maricopa's vigorous growth is a reflection of its high quality of life.
Mesa will argue in court that a legal challenge to the fees it charges developers to help build city museums and preserve archaeological finds is past the point it can be repealed.
The Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, representing the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, filed a complaint in Maricopa County Superior Court in September, after Mesa increased the amount it charges developers to build houses and commercial buildings in the city.
The impact fee averages about $8,300 for the average single-family home.
The freedom of property owners to decide their own fate and to reap the fruit or bitter harvest of their labors is under a subtle but direct assault in the East Valley.
Consider this litany of stories from the Tribune this year:
The Tempe City Council responds to protests from that citys northern residents and turns down a use permit for a tattoo parlor because of the perception that such a business would be bad for the neighborhood.
Oro Valley's Town Council has decided to put anto issuing sales tax-sharing retail development incentives, though existing incentive agreements won't be affected.
Economic development incentives for retail "don't make sense," said Councilman Barry Gillaspie at an Aug. 14 public meeting. "I don't believe governments should be tampering in the private sector like that."
Oro Valley collected nearly 82 percent less sales-tax revenue than originally projected from two retail developments granted tax-sharing incentives by the town, figures show.
Two Oro Valley retail centers subject to those economic development agreements are open for business Oracle Crossings and Steam Pump Village and so far neither has met developers' original sales-tax forecasts.