Food to get cheaper as Phoenix cuts back on taxIn the News

October 17, 2013 10:51
Food to get cheaper as Phoenix cuts back on tax

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Four years after Phoenix imposed the  hotly-debated food tax on its denizens, the city council has agreed to repeal the tax to half by early next year, saving the buyers a total of  $33.4 million on their grocery bills.

The plan, initiated by the outgoing City Manager David Cavazos, was passed hands on with 8-1 vote.

Apparently, Cavazos sent a obiter dictum to  the  City Council in August, emphasizing “how the city can earn an estimated $33.4 million in revenue if the city cuts back half of the 2 percent tax in January. The remaining 1 percent tax would stay in effect until early 2015, when it automatically sunsets,” a leading Arizona daily reported.

According to the memo, “Phoenix can reduce the tax without cuts to police, fire and other community services, a sticking point for council members. Concerns over potential cuts scuttled an earlier push to repeal the levy.”

With this, the looming debate over food tax, a tussle that began in 2010, has been laid to rest. The tax was enacted then to help Phoenix recover from a record $277 million budget shortfall.

“Finally, we have a plan that appears to be responsible,” said Councilman Daniel Valenzuela before the vote. “It appears that this is the right thing to do.”

AW: Suchorita Dutta Choudhury

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