Friday, May 15, 2009

Auto crisis comes to Mesa

More bad news for a Mesa budget that is already overly dependent on sales tax revenues. Darner Chrysler was named as one of the nearly 800 dealerships nationwide that will be closed as part of the Chrysler's bankruptcy restructuring.

Today, GM is also slated to annouce the closing of over 1,100 dealerships nationwide. It is not clear if any of the Mesa dealerships will be on the GM cut list, but it probably goes without saying that everyone is on edge due to the possibility.

It wasn't that many years ago that cities all over the East Valley were battling for dealerships because of the huge numbers they generate in tax dollars. However, as the bottom has fallen out of auto sales, the cities are really starting to feel the pinch - especially in places like Mesa that have very few alternate sources of revenue.

Mesa has done its work, though, making the necessary cuts and convincing the voters that they needed additional revenue for critical services. Other cities like Gilbert are starting to feel the pinch and now just as the auto manufacturers, they are having to slim down.

While the economic decline has slowed, its hard to say if we have reached the bottom. Let's hope that we will start towards recovery soon.

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