[Source: Scott Wong, Arizona Republic] — Phoenix’s $270 million in proposed budget cuts are the largest in city history. And although the national recession has forced almost all local and state governments to pare back spending, Phoenix’s reductions are among the most severe of any major U.S. city when comparing total budgets. Plagued by the dismal economy and plunging sales-tax revenue, Phoenix is being forced to carve more than 20% out of its $1.2 billion general fund to bridge deficits in the current and next fiscal year. Services Phoenix residents use on a frequent if not daily basis — libraries and parks, senior centers, and swimming pools — are bearing the brunt of the cuts.
Other large cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia are bleeding red ink, too, and are expected to slash many more dollars than Phoenix in the coming year. But an analysis of the nation’s 10 largest cities shows that no spending decrease rivals the 22.5% in cuts now being weighed by Phoenix. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]