Phoenix City Council unanimously agrees to $2.1 billion budget in first unanimous agreement since 2009

For the first time in 15 years, the city of Phoenix is passing a budget unanimously. 

Councilmembers say the $2.1 billion budget can balance the books and help the city store away cash.

Every single councilmember and the mayor is satisfied with this budget, which is unheard of, and councilmembers believe taxpayers should be satisfied, too. 

They say they're able to keep taxpayer costs the same, while spending more on public safety.

What is Mayor Kate Gallego saying?

"We have not had a budget passed unanimously since 2009. That shows that we’ve been able to bring together Democrats, Republicans, and an Independent who passed a budget that makes sense," Mayor Kate Gallego (D) said.

The city of Phoenix says it's doing something right. Back in 2008, the budget cost taxpayers $1271 dollars per person. 

This year's budget will cost you $1274 dollars, even after inflation. Mayor Kate Gallego says it's because they're keeping costs low while still delivering essential services.

"As our city has grown, the government has become more efficient," Gallego said.

Political rivals come together in historic agreement

Councilman Jim Waring (R) agrees, and he never agrees. He said this will be the first budget he supported in 12 years.

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His stance changed this year mainly because police and fire are getting a boost, including $27 million extra dollars for Phoenix Police.

"I thought we got diverted and spent money on things that weren't core city functions," Waring said. "But this year, because of budget issues, we are focused on the things that we do best."

What does this mean for the city beyond 2024?

Budgeting wisely now will benefit the city in 2025. Less revenue will be coming in, now that the state moved to a flat income tax and bans collecting sales tax on residential rents. 

The goal is to keep this year's $80 million dollar surplus to pay for the $100 million deficit that's coming our way.

"I think that is a wise move, and that's what we're doing and that's another reason I voted for it this year," Waring said.

The councilman says the biggest cost to taxpayers right now is the pension fund and complying with the Justice Department's probe into Phoenix Police. 

He also says we're spending a serious amount of money on services for the homeless, but he's not convinced they're effective.