September 24th, 2008

Phoenix: Naming Rights to Buildings Among Revenue Ideas

By Casey Newton
The Arizona Republic

Parking meter rates could rise and Phoenix could auction off naming rights to city buildings as part of a series of ideas to generate new revenue.

The City Council on Tuesday discussed 10 money-making proposals developed by a 25-member task force that brainstormed over the summer.

The council agreed to pursue the ideas, which also include:

• Building an online component for city surplus auctions in hopes of attracting additional bidders.

• Selling advertising on city property and its Web site.

• Selling or licensing Phoenix merchandise.

• Creating a Phoenix credit-card similar to those used by alumni associations. The city would get a percentage of each purchase.

“We tried to thin them down to the best ideas, the ideas that could be implemented the most quickly and would generate the most funds,” City Manager Frank Fairbanks said.

Phoenix hopes to generate $7.5 million from the proposals by June 2010. The city staff will now begin researching each idea in depth, bringing them back to the council as soon as they are ready to be implemented.

Councilwoman Thelda Williams said she was disappointed the proposals would only generate an estimated $7.5 million, given that Phoenix had to trim nearly $90 million from its general fund this year.

The city is facing another shortfall next year, although officials don’t yet know the size.

“I think we’re naïve if we think we’re going to raise enough money to cover the deficit,” Williams said.

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