We read that Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and some of his council minions are so “desperate to avert layoffs of police officers, firefighters and other city workers,” that they have approved a 2 percent sales tax on groceries intended to generate tens of millions of dollars in new revenue for city services.
The tax will create an estimated $12.5 million for the fiscal year that ends June 30 and another $50 million next fiscal year.
The original budget proposal called for the elimination of 1,379 city positions, including nearly 500 layoffs to police officers and firefighters.
We consider these numbers scare tactics, since Phoenix voters have passed funding mechanisms for police and fire funding each time they are brought before them. Proposition 1, on the ballot just a little over two years ago, included a sales tax hike intended to hire 500 new police officers and 100 new firefighters.
At the time, Gordon said: “Instead of hiring 80 or 90 police officers and eight or 10 firefighters every year, a yes vote will put 600 new public safety personnel on the streets in just two years. That is a significant increase that will have meaningful results.”
Gordon, who frequently travels the globe on taxpayer funded trips, called a special meeting yesterday so the council could vote on the tax proposal. He cited figures showing the average family of four spends about $12,000 a year on groceries. That would amount to about $240 in extra taxes.
In this stressful economy, when jobless numbers are soaring and record numbers of families are losing their homes to foreclosure, taxing groceries is the nifty plan cooked up by our illustrious mayor.
Seeing Red AZ recently noted that the City of Phoenix paid $14.3 million to 6,989 employees in unconscionable “retention bonuses.” That’s $2 million more than the food tax would bring in this fiscal year.