Blog Archives

As Phoenix faces “economic emergency,” mayor floats idea of temporary tax hike

home_balloons[Source: Scott Wong, Arizona Republic] — Saying Phoenix is facing an “economic emergency,” Mayor Phil Gordon this week floated the idea of a temporary sales-tax increase to keep already diminished services from being cut further.  Phoenix recently raised fees and rates for things such as parking meters and trash pickup. But Gordon’s comments, during a City Council meeting, marked the first mention of a sales-tax hike — or “emergency economic surcharge” — that the council could approve to stave off service cuts.

“It may take that to get us through the economic crisis,” Gordon told fellow council members and staffers.  “We have to ask residents: Do they want these draconian cuts?  Do they want to be understaffed in fire and police?  I, for one, think our residents would want to continue the way of life in this city.”  [Note: Read full article at As Phoenix faces “economic emergency,” mayor floats idea of temporary tax hike.]

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Planning Department asks: “Imagine Phoenix as the best it can be in 2050. What do you see?”

[Source: City of Phoenix Planning Department] — Phoenix is updating its General Plan — the comprehensive guide for all physical aspects of the city.  The city’s Planning Department asks you to participate in this process to help create the future.

What is a General Plan?  Why do we need to update it?  Why do we need a vision?  View this presentation to learn more.

Question #2: “Imagine Phoenix as the best it can be in 2050.  What do you see?” Provide your feedback by attending a Village Visioning Workshop or e-mailing your comments.

The results of asking Question #1, “What do you value most about Phoenix and why?” from the first set of Visioning Workshops (review/download PDF):

Visit the website.  Follow on Twitter.

Phoenix office vacancies tie 17-year high

[Source: Cathy Luebke, Phoenix Business Journal] — The office vacancy rate has increased for the ninth consecutive quarter in Phoenix to 24.2 percent.   That also marks the highest point since 1992 when total office space stood at 43 million square feet compared with today’s 74 million tally, according to CB Richard Ellis third-quarter MarketView report.  A year ago office vacancies accounted for 17.1 percent of the market.

West Phoenix has the highest rate of vacant space, 39.2 percent; the central business district has the lowest, 15.7 percent, according to CBRE.

“Uncertainty in the economy has significantly impacted tenant activity in the metropolitan Phoenix office,” the report said.  “However, for those companies that are in the market for space, they will have multiple opportunities from which to choose at extremely competitive pricing.”

The average asking price per square foot on a full-service lease for existing buildings was $23.44 as if Sept. 30, according to CBRE.  That compares with $24.96 in the first quarter and $25.96 at the end of 2007.  Nevertheless, construction continues. CBRE reports 1.9 million square feet of space expected to come online by first-quarter 2010.  More than half in downtown Phoenix. That compares with 4.6 million at the end of 2007.  [Note: Read the full article at Phoenix office vacancies tie 17-year high.]

Carnegie Center speaker to examine state of Arizona’s economy, July 8

image003As we approach the State Centennial in 2012, Arizona’s economic situation is uncertain.  Dr. Timothy Hogan examines our state’s recent economic history, the boom of the 1990s that ended with the “dot.com” collapse and the 2000-2001 recession, followed by the housing/financial sector-driven boom/crash that pushed first Arizona and then the national economy into the severe recession that we are still in the midst of today.  Arizona’s economy entered the current recession three months earlier than the national economy, and will likely emerge later.  Dr. Hogan looks to Arizona’s economic future and examines the national and local factors and ideologies that impact it.

  • Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2009
  • Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Place: Carnegie Center, 1101 West Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007

Free and open to the public.  Bring your lunch!  Light refreshments served.  Free parking.  Call 602-926-3368 or send an e-mail for more information.

About the Speaker: Timothy D. Hogan is Professor Emeritus of Economics and Senior Research Associate in the L. William Seidman Research Institute in the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.  He received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics from the University of California and his Ph.D. degree in Economics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.  He joined the faculty at Arizona State University in 1970 and retired in July 2004.  Dr. Hogan served as Director of the Seidman Institute from 1995 to 2004 and the Center for Business Research from 1987 to 2004.