DiCiccio: Repeal of food tax is important, but there’s a bigger picture in play - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

DiCiccio: Repeal of food tax is important, but there’s a bigger picture in play

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Posted: Thursday, May 9, 2013 11:49 am

The persistence and determination I have shown in the past four years is about reform and getting us ready for the new world we live in. There is a bigger reason why I have been pushing so hard for change. It’s about getting Phoenix ready to compete in a global economy. If the council repeals the food tax it will be added to a long list of reforms we accomplished. There were three significant reforms toward the goal of getting us ready to compete in this new world market and getting government to operate more like your household

Reform I

No water/sewer increase two years in a row, no property tax rate increase in more than three years and no fee increases in over three years. But it’s more than just saying no. Government by its nature is and operates as a monopoly with very little concern for price of service and cost of goods resulting in lower productivity and efficiency. Those accomplishments changed our culture and the way we view the world. We are now more efficient, increased productivity and are more sensitive to the cost of goods we purchase. We have accepted we can’t continue to raise the price of our services (tax and fee increases). These reforms forced us to look internally for efficiencies that in turn raised our productivity. If the food tax repeal passes, Phoenix will see well over $100 million in savings through innovations and efficiencies in three short years.

Reform II

Phoenix streamlined and deregulated significant parts of our business operations making us the best in the nation to start and expand a business — all business large and small — get treated the same. We are the first in the nation to adopt policies getting you permits in a day or less, require a 24-hour turn around for inspections and have site plans approved in one, five and 21 days depending on the complexity. We adopted a structure getting jobs started in days or weeks where anywhere else in the nation could take you a year or more. What does this mean to our economy? Jobs get started now not six months or more from now. Money gets circulated in the economy faster and more people are less dependent on government for survival. But the picture again is much bigger. It is the realization that to thrive in this global economy and compete in this global market we have to be faster, smarter and better than our competitors around the world.

Reform III

Zero-based budgeting. The Great Recession taught us we must be better prepared for future crisis. Preparation means you must have the best budgeting structure allowing for the most transparency. Phoenix is the first in the nation to adopt a budgeting process that will be able to better predict future economic problems on the horizon.

We have made significant strides preparing us for the new world we now live in, but we still need to be better. The last reform is the reform of everything we do. We are only as good as the weakest link. Every time we pick up the phone and every operation we perform has to be completed with the goal of being the best.

• Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio represents District 6, which includes Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach him at council.district.6@phoenix.gov or (602) 262-7491.

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