Tucson officials are asking voters to approve a permanent sales tax increase through Proposition 204. Tucsonans have already seen increases in their county property taxes and city sales taxes this year. An additional sales tax hike would be an additional burden on Tucson workers and families.
This increase would make Tucson’s sales tax one of the highest in the country at 9.1 percent. Sales tax hikes are especially harmful to people with low incomes who spend a greater share of their pay on everyday goods.
Too many Tucson residents are already struggling to make ends meet. Our city’s poverty rate is 25.2 percent—much higher than the national poverty rate of 14.7 percent. In 2015, Tucson had one of the worst crime rates in the country, at 6,643 property crimes per 100,000. That’s almost triple the national rate of 2,487 property crimes per 100,000 people.
Our city’s high poverty and crime rates may explain why the average Tucson resident moves every 3.5 years, while the average American moves every 5.2 years. When you combine all these factors, it’s no wonder 24/7 Wall Street ranked Tucson 28th out of the 50 worst cities to live in in the United States.
The last thing we need is a higher sales tax that would punish our most vulnerable citizens. Instead of raising taxes, Tucson’s government should better use existing funds and grow the economy through lower taxes and less regulation.
Voters should reject Prop 204 and protect our city from a harmful sales tax.