Showdown over the Phoenix Food Tax — May 1

April 30, 2013


Dear Phoenix Taxpayer,

At the Wednesday (May 1) meeting of the Phoenix City Council, one of the motions on the table will be to repeal one cent of the never-ending two-cent city food tax, with a firm repeal date of January 1, 2014.  Please urge your city council members (email contacts below) to vote for the firm repeal date.  Sorry: there won’t be a motion to repeal the entire two-cent tax.  But if we get half a loaf, it will be an important stepping stone on the way to full repeal.  We will prove that we can easily repeal the whole tax without impacting vital city services.

There may be other motions presented on Wednesday related to the food tax, including one that would send the one cent repeal to a committee.  Our concern is that “Send it to a committee” in this case is government speak for “Give the city manager and government employee unions lots of time to play out the clock and come up with excuses to kill or further delay the repeal.”

Out of the nine members on Council, we are not worried about the three members who had cumulative career scores as “Champions of the Taxpayer” on the 2013 Local Government Scorecard put out by our sister organization, AFP Foundation-Arizona.  Please send them quick emails (and/or leave short voice mail messages) encouraging them to hold the line and to vote for a firm repeal date of January 1, 2014 for one cent:

DiCiccio, Sal  602-262-7491

Gates, Bill  602-262-7441

Waring, Jim  602-262-7445

To pass, the repeal motion must get five votes.  At this point, it is unclear where the two other necessary votes will come from.  The good news is that the food tax is not a partisan issue or an ideological issue.  In reality, the food tax falls heavily on the poorest citizens of Phoenix — and its revenues have been used to increase salary-and-benefit packages for city workers, many of whom rake in more than $100,000 a year.  Please send quick emails to (and/or leave short voice mail messages for) these six members, encouraging them to do the right thing and to vote for a firm repeal date of January 1, 2014:

Johnson, Michael  602-262-7493

Nowakowski, Michael  602-262-7492

Simplot, Tom  602-262-7447

Stanton, Greg  602-262-7111

Valenzuela, Daniel  602-262-7446

Williams, Thelda  602-262-7444

And if you’re retired, or out of work, you can attend the meeting of the Phoenix City Council this Wednesday (May 1).  If you’re there, maybe you can ask them why they don’t hold their meetings after working hours, so that hardworking taxpayers can easily attend…

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
(602) 478-0146


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