Phoenix council to vote on raising utility, rec fees

raising fees

Dustin Gardiner | The Republic

raising feesPhoenix City Council members support a plan to raise certain fees and create a new utility-bill tax, moves aimed at increasing revenue to help the city close its $37.7 million budget deficit. The city must find at least $11 million in new revenues to balance its budget for the

Starting in July, Phoenix residents will likely have to spend a little bit more to work out at a city recreation center, use a parking meter downtown or pay their monthly water bills.

City leaders will vote today on final approval for a new tax on residents’ utility bills and a myriad of fee increases — revenue hikes designed to help fix a $38 million budget deficit in the coming fiscal year.

A majority of the City Council already showed its support for the tax and fee hikes when it approved City Manager Ed Zuercher’s budget plan last month. His budget relies on $11 million in new revenue to help erase red ink created by rapidly rising expenses, particularly employee pensions and health care.

But some taxpayers and council members have criticized the increases in recent weeks, saying residents shouldn’t foot the bill because the city hasn’t lived within its means.

fiscal year that starts July 1. Council members are expected to vote Wednesday afternoon to give final approval to the following tax and fee increases.

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