Scottsdale’s High Tax Burden

There’s good news and bad news. Scottsdale doesn’t have the Valley’s highest per-capita tax burden among the top 100 cities in the country. We are below Gilbert’s Number 6 rank, which is the highest in the Valley.

The bad news is that Scottsdale taxpayers have the SECOND highest tax burden among Valley cities, 17th in the nation.

The Phoenix Business Journal’s Tim Gallen (@tim_gallen) reports on a study from NerdWallet that,

Scottsdale residents pay an average of $12,795.08 in federal, state and local income taxes; $2,015.13 in sales taxes and $2,182 in real estate taxes.

Why is that? Is it because Scottsdale has world-class infrastructure and roads that are all freshly-paved? Can’t be, otherwise why would Jim Lane and the city council be looking to issue another $100 million-plus in bonds to borrow money for infrastructure upgrades?

Do we have the 17th best public services in the nation? Actually, I think Scottsdale city employees do pretty well in the context of a perennially-tight budget. But I wouldn’t say we are 17th best.

So where does all that money go? It goes to service the highest per-capita debt in the Valley; and to subsidize an eternal stream of folks who feed at the public trough, like the taxpayer-subsidized TPC (PGA) golf course, Phil Mickleson’s leased McDowell Mountain Golf, the private Scottsdale Cultural Council arts management company, and Jason Rose’s polo matches.

Meanwhile the debt service for all these new bonds is going to get tacked onto your property tax bill.

And we have a 100% “Republican” mayor and city council. Imagine that.

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